John Daly is a one-man Ryder Cup task force. His conclusion on what the U.S. needs to do to turn the tide in the biennial series? Hire a playing captain for 2016 — namely, either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson.
“Phil seems to thrive on Ryder Cup competitions, does well when he plays. He knows everything about the Ryder Cup, so maybe it should be him or Tiger Woods who should be the next captain,” Daly said Thursday at the Turkish Airlines Open. “We’ve had playing captains over the years, so why not in 2016?”
While the dozen players who lost the third straight match for the U.S. against the Europeans seem to have coalesced around three-time Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples for the ’16 job, Woods and Mickelson are sure to have their turn at the helm. However, with Woods about to turn 39 and Mickelson going strong at 44, the conventional wisdom has neither of them leading the American charge until at least 2020.
The last time the U.S. had a playing captain in the Ryder Cup was 1963, when Arnold Palmer led the a 23-9 win over Great Britain and Ireland at Atlanta Athletic Club. Reviving the idea isn’t likely, but, then again, 65-year-old Tom Watson was captain in Scotland.
But that’s not all Daly’s suggesting. He wants to play a part on the team, too, and “be involved in some way as I could keep the guys loose and ensure they have a bit of fun.”
If Couples and 2008 winning captain Paul Azinger pass, then we officially have a Plan C.