Could Tiger be first back-to-back U.S. Ryder Cup captain since Hogan?

by Joanne Miller

The discussions surrounding the 2025 Ryder Cup are already underway, with Team Europe expressing their preference for Luke Donald as captain. If selected, Donald would become the first repeat captain since Bernard Gallacher in the early 1990s. However, the question remains as to whether the Americans will also opt for a back-to-back captain.

Many believed that Tiger Woods was the natural choice for the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black, especially after Phil Mickelson lost his chance as a chief recruiter for Saudi-backed LIV Golf. Woods was also seen as a viable option for the 2027 Ryder Cup in Ireland at Adare Manor. The U.S. Ryder Cup committee will soon meet to discuss potential captains, but the key question is whether Woods would be interested in taking on both roles.

Although the only American to have been captain two times in a row is Ben Hogan, there is a possibility that Woods could become the second. However, discussions are not expected to begin until later this year, with U.S. captains typically being announced around February.

The decision on the next Ryder Cup captain lies in the hands of a six-member committee, which includes major champions Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas. Alongside them are PGA president John Lindert, vice president Don Rea, and CEO Seth Waugh. They will have to consider opening doors for future captains as well. The Ryder Cup task force, formed after the 2014 matches, aimed to create continuity within the U.S. teams. However, it seems to have become a closed shop, with the same individuals being involved repeatedly.

For instance, Johnson may have been a relative newcomer as captain, but he had served as an assistant four times in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. Steve Stricker has been a consistent presence in every U.S. team since 2014, either as a captain or an assistant. Davis Love III, Fred Couples, and Jim Furyk also seem to be ever-present in the team, with the latter being the 2018 Ryder Cup captain and the upcoming Presidents Cup captain for 2024.

The key to understanding the future captaincy lies in who Furyk selects as his assistants for the upcoming Presidents Cup. Meanwhile, there are those who have been overlooked for captaincy, such as former PGA champion David Toms, and others like Larry Nelson before him. Toms has never been an assistant at either competition, leading to speculation that he may not be part of the inner circle within the team.

The decision on the next American Ryder Cup captain is eagerly awaited, and it remains to be seen whether Tiger Woods will be interested in the role. Regardless, the discussions and eventual announcement will bring much excitement among golf fans around the world.

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