David Toms once looked like he was in line to be a U.S. Ryder Cup captain one day.
But after being passed over for the captaincy in favor of Tom Watson in 2014 and Davis Love III for 2016, the former LSU All-American isn’t sure now if he will ever get the chance to lead the Americans against the Europeans.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be captain this last time,” Toms told The Golf Channel on Thursday at The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “But as far as moving forward, I really haven’t heard much. It looks to me like maybe I don’t get that chance.”
With 13 career wins, including the 2001 PGA Championship; more than $40 million in career PGA Tour earnings; and a 4-6-2 record in three Ryder Cups from 2002-06, Toms has a similar résumé to that of other recent Ryder Cup captains. He was strongly considered for the 2014 captaincy, but the PGA of America instead selected Watson, who led the U.S. to its last win in Europe in 1993.
Watson couldn’t repeat the winning formula as the U.S. lost 161/2-111/2 in Gleneagles, Scotland, the Americans’ third straight loss in the biennial event.
In addition to Love being named captain last week, the PGA of America announced that it had created a task force to help reverse a trend that has seen the U.S. lose eight of the past 10 Ryder Cups. Toms wasn’t included on that, either.
“I wasn’t called to see if I wanted to be on it,” said Toms, 48, who shot a 1-over-par 71 in Thursday’s first round.
Toms is still hopeful of getting into the mix for a vice captain spot. The new U.S. strategy is to have two former captains and two potential future captains serve in the four assistant slots.
Tom Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, already has been named a vice captain for 2016. Like Toms, Lehman won one major (the 1996 British Open) and played in three Ryder cups.
“That’s probably the best thing they are doing,” Toms said. “Whether I get the opportunity or not, it’s a good idea.”
Love was the U.S. captain in 2012, when the Americans blew a four-point lead on the final day at Medinah outside Chicago to lose 141/2-131/2. Love’s captaincy generally got positive reviews.
The 2016 Ryder Cup will be played at Hazeltine National near Minneapolis.