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Tom Watson picks Andy North as vice-captain

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Tom Watson picks Andy North as vice-captain
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Team USA Captain Tom Watson and close friend Andy North hope to carry their success in the Legends of Golf team competition translates into success for Team USA in the 2014 Ryder Cup.(Getty Images)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - U.S. Team Captain Tom Watson has named Andy North to serve as a vice captain for the 2014 United States Ryder Cup Team. North was announced Wednesday at a news conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., prior to The Greenbrier Classic.

North will serve as a vice captain when the United States and Europe meet in the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, in Perthshire, Scotland, Sept. 23-28, 2014.

North, 63, won the U.S. Open in 1978 and 1985. He represented the U.S. in the '85 Ryder Cup, losing all three of his matches at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England.

"Andy knows what it takes to close the deal and that's what we need on the Ryder Cup Team. We need players who can close the deal," Watson said. "We've been discussing the players already back and forth and the types of young players who might make the team, the types of players that actually I hope make the team.

"I'm certainly happy to have Andy on my side and in my ear helping me make the decisions that will bring this Cup back home from Europe this time. It's been way too long."

A native of Wisconsin, North played collegiate golf at the University of Florida, and was an All-American in 1970, '71 and '72. He has been inducted into both the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

Since 1993, North has served as a golf analyst for ESPN.

"I was giddy, absolutely giddy over the opportunity to not only hopefully have a role to get the Cup back, but also to be able to help a dear friend," said North, who has known Watson since 1967. "I'm looking forward to it. There's a lot of excitement to the Ryder Cup, and it means an awful lot to me. I've been lucky enough to cover it for ESPN, and I get emotional covering it. It's going to be a great experience, and the bottom line is we get a W at the end of the week."

Nine members of the 40th U.S. Ryder Cup Team will be determined following the 96th PGA Championship, Aug. 7-10, 2014, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. Watson will announce three Captain's selections to complete the Team in September 2014.

The Ryder Cup is one of the most spirited, exciting and compelling events in sport-spanning more than 85 years, involving the greatest players in the world and producing some of the greatest moments in the game.

In September 2014, the U.S. will attempt to win back the Ryder Cup, which Europe has held since 2010. The U.S. last won a Ryder Cup in Europe in 1993, when Watson captained the Team to victory at The Belfry.

Paul McGinley of Ireland is the 2014 European Ryder Cup Team Captain.

The qualification system for Europe will begin at the ISPS Handa Wales Open at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, Sept. 5-8, 2013. Like Watson, McGinley will have three Captain's selections.

About the Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup began in 1927 when enterprising English seed merchant Samuel Ryder commissioned the casting of a gold chalice that bears his name. The U.S. Team defeated Great Britain, 91/2 to 21/2, in the inaugural matches in Worcester, Mass. Since then, except for a span (1939-45) during World War II and following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks upon America, the Ryder Cup has been held biennially with the U.S. and Europe alternating as host. Since 1985, Europe owns a 9-4-1 advantage in golf's pre-eminent event.

About The PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

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