Keegan Bradley swerves Tiger Woods snub as he breaks silence on USA Ryder Cup captaincy

Bradley will captain Team USA for the Ryder Cup
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Keegan Bradley says he’s honoured to land the USA Ryder Cup role after Tiger Woods turned his back on the job.

The 38-year-old has been named the country’s 31st skipper for next year's clash at Bethpage Black. Woods looked certain for the post in New York, but Bradley has now been tasked with ripping the trophy back from Europe in the 45th staging. Bradley, who has appeared in two Ryder Cup appearances in 2012 and 2014, was overlooked for a wild-card spot last autumn in Rome.

But now he’s the main and said: “I am incredibly honoured to accept this opportunity. I would like to thank the PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee for their trust in me as we embark on this journey to Bethpage Black. My passion and appreciation for golf’s greatest team event have never been stronger. The Ryder Cup is unlike any other competition in our sport and this edition will undoubtedly be particularly special given the rich history and enthusiastic spectators at this iconic course. I look forward to beginning preparations for 2025.”

Woods seemed the top choice having been a winning playing captain for the Presidents Cup team five years ago as well as serving as a Ryder Cup assistant. However, last month’s announcement that PGA CEO Seth Waugh was leaving has been cited as turning the tide.

PGA of America President John Lindert broke the Bradley news and said: “I am proud and excited to name Keegan. Keegan’s past Ryder Cup experience, strong relationships and unwavering passion for this event will prove invaluable as he guides the team over the next year and a half.

“We are confident that with Keegan at the helm, the 2025 US Ryder Cup Team will compete at Bethpage with the same confidence and determination that has defined his career.”

Bradley turned professional in 2008 following a standout collegiate career at St John’s University and collected his first major title in 2011 at the PGA Championship. With Woods out of the running, Stewart Cink, Fred Couples and Davis Love III had been cited as candidates before Bradley’s confirmation.

Speaking on Monday on the range at Renaissance, Cink, the 2009 Open champion, admitted Woods’ rejection of the job was no surprise. He said: “I thought that he should have first run at it and he has.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he turned it down because since he stepped into that board position, the PGA Tour is pretty busy right now and he’s got a lot on his plate. And he’s got a lot away from the course, too, with his injuries and trying to get himself in the kind of condition where he can play.

“It’s probably a big role when you consider adding it to all that stuff. I got a lot of calls today from some of the media in the States and I thought that was probably what it was about.”