Stewart Cink not shocked by Tiger Woods Ryder Cup snub as surprise favourite for US captaincy emerges

Stewart Cink admits he’s not shocked by news Tiger Woods rejected the USA Ryder Cup captaincy as Keegan Bradley emerged as shock favourite for the role.

American chiefs will announce at 5pm UK-time on Tuesday who will lead the side against holders Europe next year at Bethpage. Woods looked clear frontrunner, but sources state he has turned down the opportunity with Bradley now firmly in the mix. Cink, Fred Couples and Davis Love III have also been cited as the main candidates outside of Woods.

Speaking on the range at Renaissance, the 2009 Open champion admitted the talk of Woods' rejection was no surprise. He said: “I thought that he [Woods] 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 recover and 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 I know in the States and I kind of thought that was probably what it was about. But I haven’t heard anything, they haven’t said anything to me. No [surprise Tiger turning it down], because I’ve already heard that, too.”

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.

Bradley, who has appeared in two Ryder Cup appearances in 2012 and 2014, was overlooked for a wild-card spot last autumn in Rome. Cink will find out the PGA final decision during today’s Renaissance Pro-Am as he laughed: “I’m off at 3.52pm, so I’ll be on the seventh hole, I guess!”

But he added: “To be part of the team playing or a vice captain, as I was last year, it’s an incredible experience and I’d love to be part of as many teams as I can because it’s a chance to represent your country.

“I love the game and to be part of it any way is really the top of the heap in the pro game. That’s an honour.

“We don’t set out in our career to achieve any kind of stature and to be considered for a team. I guess you’ve got to play pretty good golf over the years. It also shows a bit more about you as well.

“I’d be shocked if they listed names and I wasn’t on the list at least. But I don’t have a lot of experience being a captain. I was vice captain one time and played on five teams, that’s all the experience I have.

“Me being here has nothing to do with the Ryder Cup captaincy. The announcement is whatever. I didn’t know there was going to be an announcement until you told me.

“I’m in a great place in my life to do it. My kids are adults so I wouldn’t have to be sacrificing a lot of family time so, yeah, I’m ecstatic to even be considered.”