Tom Watson eyes 2014 Ryder Cup

Updated: December 10, 2012, 4:03 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

Tom Watson said it "would be a great honor" to captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2014, when the matches will be played in Scotland.

Watson, 63, who won four of his five Open Championships in Scotland, said he has not been approached by the PGA of America, which is expected to tab the next U.S. captain no later than next month.

Watson captained the past U.S. team to win overseas, in 1993 at The Belfry in England. Since then, the Americans have just two victories in the biennial competition, in 1999 and 2008.

"It would be a great honor if I got tapped on the shoulder," Watson said in Sydney, where he competed in the Australian Open during the weekend. " '93 was the last time I've been to a Ryder Cup. I'd like to go back as captain. That would be cool."

Watson, who won 39 times on the PGA Tour, including eight major championships, would be the first repeat captain since Jack Nicklaus captained the U.S. team for the second time in 1987. Since then, the PGA of America has gone with captains in their late 40s who often still compete alongside those who might make up the team.

If following that criteria, David Toms is the obvious next choice. He turns 46 next month, won the 2001 PGA Championship and has 13 PGA Tour victories. Toms has played on three U.S. Ryder Cup teams (all defeats) as well as four U.S. Presidents Cup teams.

But after another U.S. loss -- the Americans blew a four-point final-day lead and lost 14 to 13 to Europe at Medinah on Sept. 30 -- there has been some rumbling that the PGA of America might be open to changing its approach.

If it goes against Toms, who still could be a captain down the road, Watson and Larry Nelson are the names most mentioned. Watson played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams: 1977, 1979, 1983 and 1989.

Nelson, 65, has seen a Twitter handle started in his name (@Nelson4Capt2014). The three-time major champion was passed over for the job despite a 9-3-1 overall record as a player, including a 5-0 start in 1979.

The 2014 Ryder Cup will be played at Gleneagles, Scotland.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com