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Watson in line for Ryder Cup captaincy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tom Watson, golf legend and pro emeritus at The Greenbrier resort, has become the expected choice to captain the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

The PGA of America (not to be confused with the PGA Tour) is announcing the choice Thursday morning on NBC's "Today" show. GolfWorld and Golf Digest are reporting Watson will be named captain, and ESPN said it has learned Watson is in New York.

Watson, 63, captained the U.S. team in 1993, when it defeated the European team at the Belfry in England - the last time the Americans won the Ryder Cup on foreign soil. He would join Jack Nicklaus (1983, 1987) as the only repeat captains.

Recent captains have been 40-something players who have a major championship and Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup experience, so the choice of Watson would be a departure. He would be 15 years older than the 10 most recent U.S. captains, himself included.

But his choice would be cheered in Scotland, where the 2014 Cup will be played at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. Watson won four of his five British Opens on Scottish courses, and nearly won in 2009 at Turnberry at age 59.

Watson would lead a 12-man team, eight who will qualify in a point system over the next two years and four he would choose himself. He would not compete, though he still can play a little - he made the cut at this year's Greenbrier Classic, though he faded to 73rd with a final-day 75.

Watson has been Greenbrier pro emeritus since 2005.

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsmock@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.


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