Bradley named U.S. captain for 2025 Ryder Cup



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Keegan Bradley is making another Ryder Cup team, this time as the U.S. captain. The PGA of America announced his selection Monday after months of talking with Tiger Woods about taking the job.

The PGA of America released the news on Instagram after word began to leak during the day that Bradley, who has played on only two Ryder Cup teams and never was an assistant captain, was chosen to lead the 2025 matches at Bethpage Black in New York.

Bradley already was in New York going through media training, with a news conference to introduce him set for noon Tuesday at the NASDAQ building. At age 38, he will be the youngest American captain since Arnold Palmer was a playing captain in 1963 at East Lake.

Sports Illustrated was first to report that Bradley would be the next captain.

Woods was the first choice of the Ryder Cup committee and had been in negotiations for months about what the job would entail and whether he had time to fulfill the duties, many of which involve promotion of the event.

While he plays only a limited schedule, Woods is the vice chairman of the commercial PGA Tour Enterprises board as it tries to hammer out an investment deal with the Saudi backers of rival LIV Golf.

He was a playing captain for the 2019 Presidents Cup when the Americans won at Royal Melbourne, and he served as an assistant Ryder Cup captain at Hazeltine in 2016.

“I’m dedicating so much time to what we’re doing with the PGA Tour. I don’t want to not fulfill the role of the captaincy if I can’t do it,” Woods had said in May at the PGA Championship.

Once Woods wasn’t an option, the PGA of America went for some local flavor with Bradley. He is from New England and played college golf at St. John’s.

“Keegan’s past Ryder Cup experience, strong relationships and unwavering passion for this event will prove invaluable as he guides the U.S. team over the next year and a half,” PGA of America president John Lindert said. “We are confident that with Keegan at the helm, the 2025 U.S. Ryder Cup team will compete at Bethpage with the same confidence and determination that has defined his career.”

Bradley has six PGA Tour victories, including the 2011 PGA Championship. Two of those victories came last season, and Bradley figured it might be enough for him to make another Ryder Cup team. He was devastated when U.S. captain Zach Johnson overlooked him with his six captain’s picks, going with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns.

The prototype of Ryder Cup captains typically is a player just outside the prime of his career, usually in his mid-40s. And ever since players gained a stronger voice in selecting captains after the 2014 matches, the model has been for future captains to first serve as assistants at the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.

The template also is for the immediate past captain — Johnson in this case — to be an assistant at the next Ryder Cup. With so much outside-the-box thinking on the Bradley selection, it was not immediately clear if that was still true.

Bradley last played in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2014, when Tom Watson benched him and Phil Mickelson for both Saturday sessions in another European victory.

Bradley made his Ryder Cup debut in Medinah in 2012, teaming with Mickelson to go 3-0 before losing to Rory McIlroy in singles in what turned out to be a European victory, the largest comeback by a visiting team.

He famously did not unpack his bag from the 2012 matches and said he would not open it until he was on a winning team. Now he might get that chance.

“My passion and appreciation for golf’s greatest team event have never been stronger,” Bradley said in a news release. The Ryder Cup is unlike any other competition in our sport, and this edition will undoubtedly be particularly special given the rich history and enthusiastic spectators at this iconic course. I look forward to beginning preparations for 2025.”

This is the latest the Americans have selected a captain in more than 30 years. It was never supposed to take this long or be this complicated.

Mickelson had been the logical choice for this Ryder Cup ever since Bethpage Black was announced as the venue in 2013. New York loves Lefty, and he was the sentimental favorite in two runner-up finishes in U.S. Opens at Bethpage Black.

But he became a chief recruiter for LIV Golf and joined the Saudi league in 2022, falling out of favor with several PGA Tour players because of his promotion of the rival circuit. Then it fell to Woods, and that didn’t work out after several months of discussions.

Luke Donald only had 14 months to prepare for the 2023 matches outside Rome when he was picked to lead Europe after Henrik Stenson joined LIV and lost the captaincy. Europe won handily, and Donald was chosen to lead Europe again at Bethpage Black.



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