Sutton to get captain's job

Hal steps in to Strange shoes

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 24 Oct 2002


Hal Sutton will be named US Ryder Cup captain for the 2004 matches today (Thursday) – succeeding Curtis Strange.

A major winner with the US PGA title in 1983 and twice a winner of the Players Championship, Sutton will be 46 when the matches take place at Oakland Hills. His opposite number is expected to be Ian Woosnam, though the European Ryder Cup committee will not ratify it until next month.

Sutton met with PGA of America officials at last week’s Disney Golf Classic and decided to accept the job after talking it over with his family.

Asked about criticism aimed at his predecessor for holding Tiger Woods back in the singles and the failure of other top players to claim vital singles points, he said: "The neat part about that is you're in a big enough position that everybody not making that decision can sit around and criticise you. If you're afraid to be second-guessed, you'd better not make any decisions."

But he added: "We shouldn't lose these things the way we're losing them. There's way too much talent over here."

Earlier Sutton said he would be honoured if asked to be captain.

"Making Ryder Cup teams, whether as a player or a captain, is what you strive to do when you're young or old," said the father of twins from Louisiana, who said he still plans to play a full schedule on the PGA Tour next year.

He has won 14 times in a career which has included four Ryder Cup appearances.

A battler who has fought off long barren spells of poor form, Sutton wears his heart on his sleeve and will be a tough adversary in the cauldron of matches.

 

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