With Fred Couples stepping aside as American Presidents Cup captain following a third-consecutive win at Muirfield Village G.C. on Sunday, the U.S. side will need a leader for the 2015 matches in South Korea.
Who will replace the fun-loving and beloved captain? Here are some nominees.
In two years, Steve Stricker may well finally have made the transition to full-on retirement. Even if he doesn't and continues to play a limited PGA Tour schedule, Stricker would be a great choice to be 2015 Presidents Cup captain. He's an easy-going guy that gets along with most everyone. As an added bonus, Stricker could also offer on-the-fly putting instruction if his players begin to struggle in a road game.
Down side? Stricker may shed a tear or two over the course of the week.
Jay Haas has been as Fred Couples' side for all three of his tours as American Presidents Cup captain, so why not simply remove the assistant tag from his title? Haas won nine times on the PGA Tour, which would be the lightest resume of any American Presidents Cup captain ever selected, but he did make two appearances in the series, including the first one in 1994 and the lone tie in 2003.
Just behind Fred Couples, Jack Nicklaus has been the second-most-beloved captain of the American side in the history of the Presidents Cup. With a long haul to Korea in '15 and the potential for some U.S. players to take a pass on the proceedings, why not have Jack be the American envoy to a course he designed in a place this competition has never been?
The three-time major champion may seem like a somewhat obscure name, but PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem could sort of right a wrong the PGA of America has made in never naming Nelson the Ryder Cup captain. It may done somewhat in anonymity with the '15 Cup being a road game, but Nelson would be a great ambassador.
Kenny Perry would be an excellent choice to head the American team in 2015. First of all, Perry has the second-best record of all-time in the Memorial Tournament, at Jack's place. Perry was a four-time Presidents Cup team member and is killing it right now on the Champions Tour. He was a great influence as a playing member of the victorious 2008 Ryder Cup team.
Sammy the Squirrel
At this point, do the Americans really need a captain? They've won five in a row and haven't lost in 15 years. So why not just go back to Muirfield Village, find Sammy and appoint him captain? Like that squid that used to pick World Cup games so well, Sammy would probably know who to go with in the team matches. He also seems to get along with Tiger Woods really well.