Breaking the mold on American Ryder Cup captaincy, as the PGA of America did with a blockbuster announcement Thursday in New York, all began with the writings of Jim Huber. When a copy of the essayist's book, "Four Days In July," on Tom Watson's mythical run at the Open Championship in 2009, was placed in the hands of Ted Bishop at last year's PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the then-PGA vice president was moved. So was Huber when Bishop called to pitch his idea of Watson in a return engagement as captain, 21 years after leading the United States to its last Cup victory on foreign soil. "The idea is absolutely brilliant," Huber said.
The idea was not only brilliant, so was the execution. Three months after the longtime writer and broadcaster died suddenly and tragically of acute leukemia, 13 months after Bishop presented his idea, Tom Watson stood on the sidewalk outside 30 Rockefeller Center, announced to the world by Matt Lauer on the "Today" show as the next American Ryder Cup captain. Before our eyes, "Four Days in July" became "Three Days in Scotland" with a September 2014 run date.