The PGA of America announced that Keegan Bradley will captain of the next U.S. Ryder Cup team competing in September 2025 at Bethpage Black. He will be introduced during a noon press conference Tuesday at the NASDAQ building in New York. According to multiple reports, Tiger Woods—who had been the speculative favourite to helm the red, white and blue—turned the offer down. Sports Illustrated and the Telegraph were the first to report the news.

When Woods didn’t take the job, it was expected that Stewart Cink, Fred Couples and Davis Love III were considered possible alternatives for the captain position. But Bradley’s name emerged early Monday in a Sports Illustrated report, which was confirmed by Golf Digest.

“I am incredibly honoured to accept this opportunity to captain the United States team at the 2025 Ryder Cup,” Bradley said in a release. “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.”

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Captains are usually named 20 months in advance of the Ryder Cup, and the Europeans have already brought back winning 2023 captain Luke Donald. Woods, 48, had been linked to the role and continually expressed his interest in the duty. Departing PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh also confirmed his organization was in talks with Woods for the job.

Conversely, Woods had asserted he was unsure if he had the time capacity to take on the responsibility.

“We’re still working on what that might look like, also whether or not I have the time to do it,” Woods said in May at the PGA Championship. “I’m dedicating so much time to what we’re doing with the PGA Tour, I don’t want to not fulfill the role of the captaincy if I can’t do it.”

Ross Kinnaird

Woods was referring to his roles on the boards of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Enterprises, along with his position on the tour’s transaction team, all of which have been focused on the tour’s potential deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

“What that all entails and representing Team USA and the commitments to the PGA of America, the players, and the fans and as I said, all of Team USA,” Woods continued. “I need to feel that I can give the amount of time that it deserves.”

Bradley, 38, competed on the U.S. Ryder Cup team during the matches in 2012 and 2014, sporting a 4-2 record, and has long professed a love for the event. After playing for the losing American team at Medinah 12 years ago, he packed his Ryder Cup bag and vowed not to open it again until he played for a winning team.

That was something he hoped would happen last year in Italy, Bradley having won the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship in the summer and moving to 11th on the final Ryder Cup points list. But he was not taken as a captain’s pick by Zach Johnson, a bitter twist of fate painfully captured by the Netflix film crewed putting together the most recent season of its “Full Swing” documentary.

After being snubbed, Bradley acknowledged he felt like there was “boys” club mentality that explained why Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas were picked over him. “The thing is, those guys are close. They’re not just PGA Tour-close, they’re close friends,” Bradley said. “If you take golf out of the equation, they’re legit close friends. You have your close friends as a golfer and then you have your close PGA Tour friends, and a lot of the time your close friends aren’t on the tour.” The U.S. team went to a lopsided 16½-11½ loss to the Europeans at Marco Simone.

Now Bradley will have a say in who plays for the Americans as he gets set to become the youngest American captain since 34-year-old Arnold Palmer in 1963. And his ties to Bethpage will make an intriguing backstory, Bradley having played his college golf not far from the Long Island course at St. John’s University.

The 2025 Ryder Cup begins Sept. 26 at Bethpage Black. The Europeans are the defending champs, but the Americans have won three of the last four Ryder Cups contested in the United States.

Main image: Harry How/Getty Images

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