After an upsetting loss in the Ryder Cup last weekend, all the chatter this week relates to the method by which team USA selects their captain.
PGA of America President, Ted Bishop, has already said multiple times that drastic changes are coming to the captain selection process, especially as golf will resume its place in the 2016 summer Olympic games in Rio, the first time since 1904.
Rumours say that the cutoff date for Ryder Cup selections will likely change. The PGA Championship in 2016 could possibly be moved up to the end of July. And America will probably adopt more of a European model by creating a committee to select their next captain.
But as Bishop busies himself with the burden of finding a successful formula to choose a captain, he needs to be weary of taking both events into account. Bishop needs to stay focused on creating a model that is solely directed at finding the perfect Ryder Cup captain. The format of the Olympics is enormously different from the Ryder Cup.
Although not official, according to Brent Kelley, a golf expert at aboutsports.com, the Olympic format will simply be a 72-hole stroke play event for the men and women. And the International Olympic Committee is limiting the field to only 60 players, with each team allowed a maximum of four players. This hardly constitutes a team.
Ryder Cup v Olympics
Furthermore, there are no captain’s picks. The top 15 players in the world gain automatic entry, with the rest of the players also being designated according to world golf rankings.
So there you have it, players do not have to be picked and players do not have to be paired together. Therefore, the two main responsibilities as a team captain in the Ryder Cup are not even part of the Olympic team captain’s job.
Truthfully, Olympic golf captains will merely serve as cheerleaders. And it is not like the players don’t already have their friends, families, instructors and psychologists to take care of that.
Obviously Bishop has a lot on his mind when choosing a captain, but he needs to understand that the current proposed Olympic format is much less like that of a Ryder Cup, and much more like a World Golf Championship event.