Bradley to lead US Ryder Cup team after Woods rejection

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

The PGA of America pushed out the news on Instagram after word began to leak during the day that Bradley, who has played on only two Ryder Cup teams and was never an assistant, 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.

"I am incredibly honoured to accept this opportunity to captain the United States team at the 2025 Ryder Cup," Bradley said.

"I would like to thank the PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee for their trust in me as we embark on this journey to Bethpage Black.

"My passion and appreciation for golf's greatest team event have never been stronger.

"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."

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 fulfil the duties, many of them involving promotion of the event.

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.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods turned down an offer of the US Ryder Cup team captaincy after lengthy negotiations. (EPA PHOTO)

Once Woods was not an option, the PGA of America went for some local flavour with Bradley. He is a New England native who played his college golf at St. John's.

Bradley was left off the US team in 2023 outside Rome, a devastating moment for him. He played in the 2012 and 2014 matches, both losses, going 3-1 at Medinah.

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.

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

"Keegan's past Ryder Cup experience, strong relationships and unwavering passion for this event will prove invaluable as he guides the US 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 US Ryder Cup team will compete at Bethpage with the same confidence and determination that has defined his career."

With PA & AP.