Ryder Cup captain to be announced Thursday

Davis Love III during the Sony Open in Hawaii.

PGA of America officials will interrupt Chicago’s obsession with the Bears and the upcoming NFC Championship game against the Packers to make a 2012 Ryder Cup announcement Thursday.

It will either confirm the worst-kept secret in golf history or be the biggest shock since Fleck beat Hogan.

You’d be wise to bet on the former, however.

That’s because officials are expected to make official what has been widely expected for months - that Davis Love III will be the U.S. captain for the 39th edition of this biennial competition. The announcement will be made in Chicago, host city of the 2012 Ryder Cup, which will be staged at Medinah Country Club Sept. 28-30.

Even before the 2010 Ryder Cup was contested last October in Wales, Love had been considered the favorite to be captain in 2012. He’s got the two credentials that are mandatory: A major championship on his resume (1997 PGA) and he was a Ryder Cup fixture as a player (six consecutive teams, starting in 1993).

Serving as an assistant captain to Corey Pavin in Wales did nothing to convince Love, 46, he wouldn’t want the job.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to do it,” Love said back in October at the PGA Tour stop in Las Vegas, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. “When people keep asking me, ‘When will it be your turn?’ or keep telling me, ‘You have to do it,’ it makes you feel good.”

As a player, Love took part in 26 matches, going 9-12-5 overall. He was 3-1-2 in singles, 3-6-2 in four-ball, 3-5-1in foursomes. In team matches against the man who is most likely going to captain the European team, Jose Maria Olazabal, Love went 1-4.

The Americans were 2-4 in the six competitions in which Love played.

For sure, Love has fielded inquiries about the job almost on a daily basis for the last three or four months. It hasn’t been easy to patiently answer the questions without tipping his hand or disrupting the PGA of America’s timetable. But even at the Sony Open, where Love broke par all four days and finished T-9 to start the season, seemed anxious for the official word to be released.

Well, consider it half over. The official word has been released – saying that the official word will come Thursday.

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