Watson names North first Ryder Cup vice captain

Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson announced Wednesday that he has selected Andy North to be one of his vice captains when the matches are played at Gleneagles in 2014.

Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson announced Wednesday that he has selected Andy North to be one of his vice captains when the matches are played at Gleneagles in 2014.

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Tom Watson has announced Andy North as his first vice captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup matches, to be played at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland. Watson made the announcement Wednesday at The Greenbrier Resort, where the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic will begin on Thursday.

North, 63, is a two-time U.S. Open champion (1978, ’85), and played in the ’85 Ryder Cup at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. He lost all three matches. More recently, North has served as a golf analyst for ESPN.

"When you win a couple of U.S. Opens, he knows what it takes to close the deal, and that's what we need on the Ryder Cup team," Watson said. "We need players who can close the deal."

North's lone official Champions Tour victory was at the 2008 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, when he teamed with Watson.

North is a native of Madison, Wis., who played collegiately for the University of Florida and was a three-time All-American.

"I was absolutely giddy over the opportunity not only hopefully to have a role to get the Cup back but also to be able to help a dear friend," North said by phone Wednesday at the announcement. "If I can take a little bit of the responsibility off of his shoulders and make it an easier week for him, that will be awesome for me."

Associated Press contributed to this report

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