The PGA of America’s Ryder Cup task force hasn’t even met yet, but U.S. players know the guy they want for their 2016 captain: Fred Couples.
Following Team USA’s loss to Europe last month in Scotland, Couples received calls and texts from many American players, saying they wanted Couples to lead them next time, according to Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte.
From Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson on down, the players' choice to be the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain is Fred Couples. Asked how many of the guys reached out to him via text or phone calls after the blowout loss at Gleneagles, Couples suggested it was the whole team: "When they all got home, they said, 'We need you to do this.' "
Of course, the PGA of America –- not top American Tour pros -- will pick the captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup team. However, Woods and Mickelson are both on the PGA’s new Ryder Cup task force, so their opinions will carry some extra weight this year.
Couples has been captain for the last three Presidents Cup teams -- all victorious -- but has never been tapped for the Ryder Cup captaincy. His leadership style is the opposite of Watson’s, laid-back and friendly where Watson is intense and demanding.
"He didn't cradle his boys enough, and that's what they need," Couples said of Watson, who was one of his mentors in the early '90s. "They need some love."
Couples also disagreed with Watson's decision to sit Mickelson on Saturday. Both Mickelson and partner Keegan Bradley sat out both formats on Saturday, and Mickelson was critical of Watson at Team USA’s final press conference on Sunday.
Couples says he wouldn't have benched Mickelson as Watson did Saturday at Gleneagles. "Phil Mickelson has been the best [team] guy on every team I've ever been on, by far," he said.