It is back to the drawing board for Team USA bosses after Zach Johnson and his team were comfortably defeated by their European rivals in Rome last week.
Winning a Ryder Cup on away soil is not an easy task, but the optimism was high within the American camp following their thrashing at Whistling Straits two years ago. Johnson was given the task of leading a star-studded U.S. line-up to Italy, but things did not go to plan for former Masters and Open champion.
Johnson’s decision-making was heavily scrutinised throughout the week, especially after the away team were whitewashed 4-0 in the opening foursomes on Friday morning.
From then on it was an uphill battle for both Johnson and his team, who went on to win just one session on their way to defeat. With their week of misery now over, the captain will now hand over the reign for the return to U.S. soil in 2025 at Bethpage Black.
It remains to be seen who will be given the chance to lead Team USA to victory, but here is a look at five possible candidates the PGA of America may turn to.
Who better to lead the Americans back to victory than the great Tiger Woods? The 82-time PGA Tour winner’s playing career has been put on hold in recent months, with Woods continuing to battle a number of fitness issues on the back of a car accident in February 2021.
So much so the 15-time major champion has been forced to sit out the last two Ryder Cups, which may mean it is the perfect time to take on a non-playing role. With Bethpage still two years away it would be a surprise to see Woods’ playing capabilities get any better than they already are.
If Woods is saved for a later date, then one other name the U.S. could turn to in New York is Stewart Cink. Cink is no stranger to the Ryder Cup locker room, having represented his nation in the event as a player on five occasions between 2002 and 2010.
He also has some leadership experience too having worked alongside Johnson as one of his five vice-captains in Rome. Having been on the end of the 2023 defeat first-hand at Marco Simone, Cink could prove the perfect man to rally the troops and go again in New York in two years’ time.
Candidate No. 3 is Matt Kuchar. Like those previously mentioned Kuchar is a man who has plenty of Ryder Cup experience as a player, pulling on the stars and stripes of the United States playing in four successive events between 2010 and 2016. – Mirror Sport