PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy was “shocked” at the appointment of Davis Love 111 as 2016 United States Ryder Cup captain.
McIlroy is returning to competition at this week’s Honda Classic and teeing up for a first time this year on American soil following a three-week break since winning the Dubai Desert Classic.
Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, a triple European Ryder Cup-winning team member and four-times major champion, was asked about his reaction to the appointment of Love.
“It came as a big shock when they announced yesterday Davis was going to be the next U.S. captain,” McIlroy told reporters.
“It will be great to see Davis and (European captain) Darren (Clarke) go head-to-head at Hazeltine and they will be formidable opponents.
“But then also I’m surprised, and I feel they’re overdoing it with the setting up of a task force and also talking about all the changes they want to bring in.
“It’s been said by a few players since we won at Gleneagles that it’s not rocket science why Europe have won the last three Ryder Cups and eight of the past 10.
Love captained the U.S. team in 2012 in Medinah when they blew a 10-6 lead going into the final day to lose the trophy.
“Davis is going to be a great captain and it was a freak we won at Medinah in 2012 and it was not supposed to happen given they had a 10–6 lead and if the States had of won Davis would have been looked upon as a great captain,” McIlroy said.
“So I get the sense the States, what with their task force and everything that came out in the announcement yesterday, that they’re desperate to win back the Ryder Cup.
“And I will say it again because it’s not that complicated why Europe has been winning.”
Editing by Ed Osmond