Love selected as captain of U.S. team facing Europe in 2012 Ryder Cup

davis love III
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Davis Love III, 46, competed on the 1993, '95, '97, '99, 2002 and '04 U.S. Ryder Cup teams.
PGA of America


Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011 | 11:19 a.m.

Davis Love III, a veteran of six Ryder Cup Teams, the winner of the 1997 PGA Championship and son of one of America's teaching legends, has been selected by The Professional Golfers' Association of America to captain the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Team. Love will guide a 12-member team in the 39th Ryder Cup, Sept. 28-30, 2012, at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.

Love, 46, competed on the 1993, '95, '97, '99, 2002 and '04 Ryder Cup Teams, a series of appearances that featured his rookie year in 1993 at The Belfry, when he won a singles match to spark the last victory for the USA on foreign soil. Love owns a career 9-12-5 match record in the Ryder Cup and in 2010 served as an assistant captain at Newport, Wales. Love is one of four players in history who is both a son of a PGA Professional and a PGA Champion. Love earned his major championship in 1997 at Winged Foot Golf Club, capping his performance by making an 18th-hole birdie that was framed by a rainbow overhead the course.

Love becomes the 27th Ryder Cup Captain to guide a team in one of the world's most compelling sports events. He has won 31 worldwide professional championships since becoming a Tour professional in 1985.

He will lead a U.S. Team that last won the Ryder Cup in 2008 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., and has only held possession of the Ryder Cup trophy three times since 1985.

"Davis Love III inherited a love for the game through his father, a premier PGA teaching professional and carried that passion into becoming one of the finest competitors in the game," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "From his Ryder Cup rookie year in 1993 to today, Davis has performed so well under pressure and now brings that experience to lead our next United States Team and win back the Ryder Cup."

Love is a native of Charlotte, N.C., and is a resident of Sea Island, Ga. He attended the University of North Carolina, where he was a three-time All-America and all-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) selection. He won six titles during his collegiate career, including the 1984 ACC Championship and the 1984 North and South Amateur Championship.

In 1993, Love helped the U.S. to its last Ryder Cup victory outside the United States, posting a comeback singles victory over Costantino Rocca at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. Love joins a succession of golf's greatest players in the role of Ryder Cup Captain. Walter Hagen, the first Captain in 1927, was followed by such legendary performers as Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino.

Medinah Country Club will host its first Ryder Cup in September 2012, and is the first site in Illinois to host golf's most compelling event.

Medinah's No. 3 Course has been the home to five major championships, including the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championships and three U.S. Opens; along with one U.S. Senior Open and three Western Opens. Medinah Country Club opened for play in 1928, and renovations through the years, including those in 2002 by Rees Jones have ensured its charter membership on Golf Digest's list of "America's 100 Greatest Courses." The No. 3 Course plays to par-72, and measures 7,561 yards from the back tees. The No. 3 Course winds its way through trees and rolling parkland, featuring challenging rough and four holes crossing a point of Lake Kadijah.

Medinah Country Club evolved from a 1920s project of Chicago's Ancient Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, which acquired 650 acres of property in northern DuPage (Ill.) County. Medinah, Ill., located some 35 minutes west of Lake Michigan, takes its name from the home of the Mohammedan religion, a city in Saudi Arabia that lies 110 miles from the Red Sea. Tom Bendelow, a world-renowned Scottish golf architect, designed Medinah's 54-hole complex. Medinah's No. 3 Course blends Jones' handiwork with those of original architect Bendelow and continues its legacy as one of the game's most challenging championship layouts. 

The Ryder Cup began in 1927 when enterprising English seed merchant Samuel Ryder commissioned the casting of a gold chalice that bears his name. The U.S. Team defeated Great Britain, 9½ to 2½, in the inaugural matches in Worcester, Mass.

Since then, except for a span (1939-45) during World War II and following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks upon America, the Ryder Cup has been held biennially with the U.S. and Europe alternating as host. Since 1985, Europe owns an 8-4-1 advantage in golf's pre-eminent event.