CHICAGO — The PGA of America quieted any talk of a potential Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson Ryder Cup captaincy Tuesday when it appointed Cap’n Crunch to lead the 2018 U.S. team.
It’s unclear what, if anything, the beloved cereal mascot knows about golf, but sources indicated that the PGA task force was won over by his regal cap, fluffy white mustache and winning personality.
“We realize this wasn’t exactly a conventional choice,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague during the surprise announcement at the Quaker Oats headquarters. “But look where convention has gotten us.”
The U.S. has lost six of the last seven Ryder Cups dating back to 2002.
Sprague adamantly denied rumors that Crunch’s appointment was the result of a forthcoming corporate partnership between the PGA and Quaker Oats, adding that the task force’s first choice was actually Captain America but that the superhero saw “little upside for himself” in the position. Sprague also said Raymond Floyd made an impassioned case for Captain Caveman but was rebuffed by other task force members who found the Neanderthal’s style brash and overbearing.
Crunch was all smiles during the announcement in the gleaming Quaker Oats lobby. He looked resplendent in his trademark blue naval jacket, which a PGA tailor accented with red to impart a more patriotic look. Crunch was oddly reticent, though, and failed to articulate any clear strategy for his team, which will face the Europeans at Le Golf National, outside Paris.
When a reporter questioned Crunch’s credibility, the captain tugged on his mustache and grew flush before mumbling what sounded like, “Team USA has got corn for crunch, oats for punch, and we’ll stay crunchy, even in milk.” Sprague laughed nervously and said Crunch would take no further questions.
Crunch—née Horatio Magellan Crunch—earned his stripes skippering the S.S. Guppy. According to his official biography, he was born on Crunch Island in the Sea of Milk, “a magical place with talking trees, crazy creatures and a mountain [Mt. Crunchmore] made out of Cap’n Crunch.”
“Which as far as I’m concerned makes him more qualified than Tiger and Phil combined,” said Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee.
Crunch, 71, has not served in any official capacity on previous U.S. teams, but for at least the last three Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, the U.S. team room has been well stocked with the sugary breakfast treat.
Rickie Fowler took to social media to voice his support for the new U.S. captain, tweeting, “Love me some @RealCapnCrunch #legend #pumpedforparis.”
Davis Love III, the 2016 and ’12 U.S. captain, also expressed admiration for Crunch.
“If you’ve been paying attention to the last few Ryder Cups or Presidents Cups, Crunch has become a respected, if quiet, leader of this team,” Love said. “Whether we’ve played in Korea or Medinah, he’s stepped up to the plate—or is it the bowl?—and kept our guys energized. If he can handle the S.S. Guppy, he can certainly handle Team USA.”
Crunch isn’t expected to name his assistants until January, but the frontrunners are the good cop/bad cop tandem of Toucan Sam and Count Chocula.