Davis Love III named U.S. Ryder Cup captain

    Despite being the losing captain in the Miracle of Medinah, Davis Love III will lead the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2016.

    Story highlights

    • Davis Love III to captain the U.S. at the 2016 Ryder Cup
    • Love was the losing captain in the Miracle at Medinah in 2012
    • Europe has won six of the last seven Ryder Cups
    • Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke was last week named Europe's captain

    (CNN)The U.S. is turning to a familiar -- but some would say unexpected -- name to lead its team at the next Ryder Cup: Davis Love III.

    Yes, even though Love was the losing captain as Europe rallied in 2012 in the Miracle at Medinah in Illinois, the 50-year-old will succeed Tom Watson at the 2016 edition at Hazeltine in Minnesota. He'll go up against Darren Clarke, who last week got the nod for Europe.
      Love was unveiled Tuesday, about five months after the PGA of America set up a Ryder Cup task force in the wake of another loss to Europe in golf's most prestigious team event.
      Love himself was part of the 11-person committee, joining the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and past captains Tom Lehman and Raymond Floyd. Love named Lehman as a vice-captain.
      "I am here with the same goal as in 2012 but not as the same captain," Love told reporters.
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      "It is a great honor to be in the position to help build the team, but our mission doesn't end there. What we accomplish in 2016 at Hazeltine must serve as the foundation for future USA Ryder Cup teams," Love said separately in a statement.
      The 2012 Ryder Cup will no doubt serve as motivation.
      With the U.S. seemingly coasting to victory -- holding a 10-6 lead entering the final day -- Europe won eight of the last 12 matches to eke out a 14 1/2-13 1/2 win.
      And when the U.S. was unable to overturn its skid last year at Gleneagles in Scotland, it meant a sixth defeat in the last seven Ryder Cups.
      Given the record it's not surprising that criticism followed, but no one quite expected Mickelson to lay into Watson -- who was yards away -- at a post series press conference. Mickelson attended Tuesday's press conference with Love.
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      Woods skipped the 2014 Ryder Cup as he recovered from a back injury and who knows if the slumping 14-time major champion will return next year. He's currently taking a break from golf.
      He, though, gave his backing to Love.
      "I want to congratulate Davis on his selection," Woods said in a statement. "I have great respect for him as a person, player and captain. I know he'll do an outstanding job leading the 2016 U.S. team.
      "I'm proud of what the task force accomplished, making substantive changes in the Captain's selection process and qualifying system."
      As a player, Love played in six Ryder Cups and compiled a singles record of three wins and a loss, halving two matches.