It has been quite a whirlwind of a week for Paul Azinger with many new prospects heading for him this upcoming year. But the headline that may have had an even more impact this week was something that happened almost a decade ago.
Earlier on Monday, Azinger was officially named as the replacement for Johnny Miller on NBC’s golf coverage team, a move that had been much speculated for the past week. That news obviously gave Azinger a lot of media time, including an interview with the “Morning Drive.” During that interview, Azinger talked about something that many people wanted to see happen back in 2010.
Back then, Azinger had just come off of a huge win for the United States Ryder Cup team that saw him lead the squad to victory at Valhalla. After that tournament and the excitement around Azinger’s four pod player style that he unveiled, many wanted to see him back as captain in 2010. It was reported, however, that Azinger was undecided on the decision and that led to Corey Pavin getting the nod.
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger takes the stage during the Opening Ceremony for the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 27, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Azinger, however, saw the whole thing differently. “I wanted to do it again, I lobbied to do it again after we won in ’08, but I think I waited a little too long and they had already made a decision,” Azinger said. “The excuse I got was that there are more captains than there are Ryder Cups and I thought that was fair, but then they asked [Tom] Watson to do it again shortly afterward and I was like, ‘What, huh?’”
If this is the answer that was given to Azinger, it seems a little odd since he had so much success and his four pod style has been adopted permanently by the United States team. Perhaps with his new position and this news coming out, Azinger could be an option for the 2020 Ryder Cup. He shot those ideas down, however, saying he’ll never captain again. He did opine though that a Wisconsin base and Steve Stricker could be a perfect match in 2020.
While it’s a bit disappointing and interesting that Azinger wasn’t invited to return as captain, it is good to know that he’ll be a regular face in the golf community. And maybe, just maybe, if he were offered the captain gig again, he wouldn’t be able to turn down his country. Only time will tell.
Cover Image via Twitter
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