Ryder Cup, senior style? It’s going to happen

Fred Couples was an assistant captain for the U.S. during the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.

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What if Bernhard Langer had another go at that missed 6-footer watched ‘round the world at Kiawah Island in 1991? Or if Mark Calcavecchia had another shot at Colin Montgomerie, to whom he coughed up a 4-up lead that very same afternoon? And who wouldn’t want to see Fred Couples hitting another Ryder Cup shot, or stand witness to Montgomerie again puffing out his chest as the leader of All Things Europe?

Pipe dream? Maybe not. Golfweek has learned the PGA of America and the European and PGA tours are far down the road on the creation of a Senior Ryder Cup that would be played sometime next fall in the United States.

Many details, including a venue, have yet to be worked out, but according to sources, it’s clear that all parties are determined to get such an event off the ground as soon as possible. There even is a sponsor already in the fold.

The event, which has been in the works for several months, would be a little different from the Ryder Cup that we know. Teams would have 10, not 12 players, and there would be 20 points, not 28 (five team matches Friday and Saturday and 10 singles matches Sunday).

“I think if the guys are playing, competitive, and want to do it, that would be kind of cool,” said Nick Faldo, the 2008 European Ryder Cup captain.

Even those whose playing days are in the past are excited. Tom Watson, this fall’s U.S. Ryder Cup captain, said he’d gladly champion a Senior Ryder Cup.

“Yep, I'd be too old to play in it,” said Watson, who turns 65 on Sept. 4, “but again, hell, maybe I could captain it, you know?”

NBC, which has the current Ryder Cup rights in the U.S., would televise the senior version, too, which would be slotted into a premier date on the calendar – the FedEx Cup playoffs off-week between the Deutsche Bank and BMW Championship.

“It would be very nice,” said Miguel Angel Jimenez, who’d be a top candidate for the European side.

Would he play? “Of course,” he said. “It would be very nice. Bueno.

Further discussions were scheduled to take place at this week’s Open Championship. A formal announcement could be made by the PGA Championship in early August.

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