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U.S. Ryder Cup captain to be named on Thursday

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States will announce their new Ryder Cup captain on Thursday, breaking with tradition by revealing his identity on breakfast television.

The PGA of America said the captain would be introduced on NBC's Today Show before attending a formal news conference near the top of New York City's Empire State Building.

The new captain will take charge of the 12-man American team for the next Ryder Cup against Europe, at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2014, replacing Davis Love III.

The U.S. lost the most recent Ryder Cup, held on the outskirts of Chicago in September, after blowing a four-point lead heading into the final day.

Europe equalled the biggest comeback ever with their surge in the Sunday singles matches to win 14-1/2 to 13-1/2 for their seventh Ryder Cup victory in the last nine editions of the biennial match play event.

"I'm going to tell you, we're tired of losing," PGA of America president Ted Bishop told reporters on Tuesday, while praising the efforts of Love. "That's the bottom line."

The PGA has kept a close guard on the name of the new captain, although local media have speculated that Tom Watson and Larry Nelson were among the leading candidates for the job.

Watson, a winner of five British Open titles, captained the U.S. team to their last victory on European soil, a 15-13 win at The Belfry. Nelson, who took up golf at the advanced age of 21 after returning from serving in U.S. Army in Vietnam, won the PGA Championship (1981 and 1987) and U.S. Open (1983).

The United States has not had a repeat captain since Jack Nicklaus in 1987, the year Europe won for the first time on U.S. soil.

PGA chief Bishop hinted that Thursday's announcement could bring a surprise.

"I'm looking forward to Thursday because I think we've done something a little bit different," he said.

Asked about Watson, who recently expressed an interest in taking another turn as Ryder Cup captain, Bishop said the PGA was only interested in setting the team up for success.

"The role of the PGA of America in naming a Ryder Cup captain should not be to name somebody to reward them for their previous playing experiences. We need to look for captains that are going to put our team in the best position to win it," said Bishop.

"We're tired of losing. And whether it's him or its somebody else, that's what our mission is."

(Editing by Julian Linden and Frank Pingue)

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