US Captain Tom Watson has named Raymond Floyd, a key performer in America’s last victory overseas, to serve as a vice captain for the 2014 United States Ryder Cup Team.
Floyd will serve alongside Andy North, who was appointed a vice captain last July. The United States and Europe meet in the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, in Perthshire, Scotland, from September 26-28.
A four-time Major Champion, Floyd was Captain of the 1989 US Ryder Cup Team and competed on eight US Teams. In 1993, Watson chose Floyd with one of his Captain’s selections, thus making Floyd the oldest Ryder Cup competitor at age 51. Floyd went on to post a 3-1-0 record that year as the US defeated Europe, 15-13, at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England.
“Raymond Floyd has had a tremendous amount of Ryder Cup experience and has been successful as a Ryder Cup player,” said Watson. “I played for him in 1989 and in 1993 he performed admirably.
“One thing about looking at Raymond is his eyes. They never wavered, whether he shot 80 or 65. He had a focus. The way he played the game, every shot counted. That’s the type of guy I want watching my back. He brings the experience and will have the respect of the players. They know he wants to win. He’s been there. We’re the stage managers, and the players have to go and act.”
A native of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, who now lives in Palm Beach, Florida, Floyd turned professional in 1961 and went on to earn 22 PGA Tour victories. He captured the 1969 and ’82 US PGA Championship, the 1976 Masters and the 1986 US Open.
“I’m flattered and it’s going to be a thrill to have his back. I think it will be a lot of fun,” said Floyd, who also served as a vice captain for the victorious US Team in 2008. Floyd later echoed Watson’s observations that a vice captain’s responsibilities “are to see that our guys are comfortable with their surroundings, and try to be an uplifting spirit.”
Nine members of the 40th US Ryder Cup Team will be determined on August 10, following the final round of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Watson will announce his three Captain’s selections to complete the team on September 2.
In September, the US will attempt to win back the Ryder Cup, which Europe has held since 2010.
Paul McGinley of Ireland is the 2014 European Ryder Cup Team Captain. The qualification system for Europe will conclude on August 31. Like Watson, McGinley will make three Captain’s selections.
The Ryder Cup is one of the most spirited, exciting and compelling events in sport – spanning 87 years, involving the greatest players in the world and producing some of the greatest moments in the game.