Tom Watson has been appointed as the US Ryder Cup captain for the 2014 matches at Gleneagles and will become the oldest captain in Ryder Cup history.
The 63-year-old eight-time major champion has been selected by the PGA of America to bring an end to Europe’s dominance of the event.
“I was waiting about 20 years to get the call,” he told NBC television. “It’s a great honour to do it again.
“I’ve lived for that pressure, lived underneath that pressure all of my career and I just hope I can set the table for these players to go out. I hope that we can get it done.”
Watson competed in four Ryder Cups as a player – in 1977, 1981, 1983 and 1989 – and captained the US side at the Belfry in 1993 – the last time the Americans won on European soil.
He will be 65 when the 40th Ryder Cup takes place at Gleneagles’ Kings Course, from September 26-28 2014.
The previous oldest captain was John Henry Taylor, who captained Great Britain at Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club in 1933 aged 62.
Colin Montgomerie has backed the move to appoint Watson as US Captain.
“If you keep on doing the same thing, you get the same results so I think America has been very wise in choosing Tom Watson here,” he said.
“America were shocked at Medinah, there’s no question. So they’ve gone with someone who is the last person to win the Ryder Cup in Europe.
“He’ll be very, very favoured here in Scotland when he does come back to Gleneagles. He was well respected in 1993 but he’s even more so now.”
Bernard Gallacher, speaking to Sky Sports, labelled the appointment of Watson as ‘clever’, and feels the revered veteran will be able to get the most out of Tiger Woods.
“We haven’t seen the best out of him in the Ryder Cup, but he’s still the second best player in the world, and Tom will face straight up to him and won’t be intimidated. Tiger will know that – I think Tom will get the best out of Woods.”
Woods has also backed the PGA of America’s decision.
“I think he’s a really good choice and I’d like to congratulate him,” said Woods.
“Tom knows what it takes to win, and that’s our ultimate goal. I hope I have the privilege of joining him on the 2014 United States Team.”