In a presser for the Turkish Airways silly season event this week, Tiger said he’d like to be the Ryder Cup Captain one day:
One day that would be fantastic and a huge honor to be a captain of a Ryder Cup team, but hopefully it doesn’t happen in the near future. I still want to be playing on a lot more teams but certainly one day, when my golfing life is slowing down and when it’s over, that would be a huge honor to be a part of a Ryder Cup from a captaincy side.
I’m of two minds on this one. Part of me says that there’s not a lot of evidence that the Ryder Cup means a whole lot to Tiger. In the run-up to the most recent Cup, a reporter asked Tiger about his Ryder Cup record. Tiger countered by asking the reporter what Jack Nicklaus’s Ryder Cup record was. When the reporters couldn’t answer, Tiger’s point seemingly was made: no one cares about the Ryder Cup as much as Majors.
There’s also the little matter of his record in the competition. It’s not good. For the greatest player of all time, his showing this last time around was just short of embarrassing. We know Tiger has the skills to destroy opponents in match play. Thus, the evidence suggests that the Ryder Cup just isn’t his cup of tea.
On the other hand, there is no more fiery competitor than Tiger, and I think a little fire is what’s needed to lead. From all accounts, even as he holds them at arms length, Tiger still commands a great deal of respect from his fellow players. Respect, without being everyone’s best friend also can be a successful leadership quality.
I think we saw a bit of that in the last Ryder Cup. On the final day, at least, Tiger was out early with his teammates, spotting them on the putting green, and even following them down the first hole. I cannot say whether that’s a new behavior, or something he’s been doing for years. It is, however, a sign of a team leader.
I think we can safely say that Tiger will at some point be offered the Ryder Cup captain’s chair, if for no other reason than the marketing possibilities. He will generate buckets full of money for the PGA of America.
The real question is: will he lead the US team to victory? I think he does.