Davis Love excited by Ryder Cup challenge

Davis Love re-appointed as US Ryder Cup captain

Davis Love re-appointed as US Ryder Cup captain

Newly-appointed captain Davis Love believes a new team ethic from top to bottom can help the United States reverse their recent trend of poor results in the Ryder Cup.

Love was appointed for a second time on Tuesday as the Americans look to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat to Europe at Hazeltine in 2016.

The 50-year-old was in charge in 2012 when the Europeans produced the 'Miracle at Medinah' to turn a 10-4 deficit into a 14.5-13.5 victory but it was last year's 16.5-11.5 defeat at Gleneagles that prompted much soul searching in the American ranks.

An 11-man task force was formed made up of PGA executives, former captains – including Love – and current players including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to plot a new way forward for America in the biennial contest.

The result of its work is a new six-man Ryder Cup committee with responsibility for selecting future captains and vice-captains and a "wide array of matters related to the Ryder Cup", along with an altered qualification points system and calendar.

But Love believes it is the new spirit of togetherness created by the process that will provide dividends, beginning in 2016 when he goes head-to-head with European counterpart and friend Darren Clarke.

"I'm here with the same goal I had in 2012 but not as the same captain," he said. "The Ryder Cup task force has been an open, honest, team-building experience.

"The collaborative effort of so many veterans of the Ryder Cup is a result of the passion and commitment to build a team structure that will lay the groundwork for future teams.

"It's a new business model, a new team-building model that comes from being given an opportunity by the PGA of America to come together and use all of our veteran experience to build a new team culture and a consistent plan for the future.

"Why the shift now, and not after 2010 or 2012? Simply, we want to win.

"What we created is a new process for continuity and teamwork which will prepare us for many years of success.

"So 2016 will be a collaborative effort of many individuals from the task force, past Ryder Cup captains, veteran players of the Ryder Cup to create the best environment for our team to be totally prepared to compete at Hazeltine National."

The new sense of togetherness comes after Mickelson's public criticism of 2014 captain Tom Watson immediately after the defeat in Scotland.

The five-time major winner admitted that an overhaul of the process was not necessarily what he had in mind on that Sunday afternoon but he was excited about the future.

"To get everybody together, to have an opportunity to have a voice and be heard and to actually make an impact and have a difference; it's exciting for everybody here," he said.

"It's really a positive step and as we look long term over the next 10 Ryder Cups, over the next two decades.

"I think it's exciting, what we are trying to lay down here this upcoming Ryder Cup and the input that is being taken in by Davis, by all different parties, and implemented as kind of a blueprint or foundation for the upcoming multiple Ryder Cups, not just this next one, is exciting for the generations to follow."

Love announced that 2006 captain Tom Lehman will serve as one his vice captains, with the PGA of America confirming the 1996 Open champion would be joined by another former captain and two "individuals with extensive Ryder Cup experience".

Retiring McCoy takes Hennessy Gold

Tony McCoy celebrates on Carlingford Lough, after winning the Hennessy Gold Cup

Tony McCoy celebrates on Carlingford Lough, after winning the Hennessy Gold Cup

A little over 24 hours after Tony McCoy stunned the racing world in announcing he would retire at the end of the season, the irrepressible jockey roared to a fairytale success in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

McCoy had already ridden his first winner since his bombshell when Sort It Out scored in the famous silks of his boss JP McManus, but that was to prove simply a taster for what was to come.

Again in the green and gold of McManus and this time for trainer John Kiely, McCoy produced 4-1 chance Carlingford Lough to perfection to get the better of a battle with Foxrock by three-quarters of a length.

McCoy said: "You can't fight fate and it was obviously meant to be the way things happened.

"Fair play to John Kiely. Every day I've been on this horse he's produced the goods.

"JP's family are here and my family are here. It's brilliant. It's what's meant to be.

"It's amazing the people here at Leopardstown today. I have to be careful I don't get too emotional, it's not good for the image."

Carlingford Lough was halved in price for the Betfred Gold Cup at Cheltenham next month, and McCoy said: "I might just get to steer him around on Gold Cup day at Cheltenham, which is probably the most important day of the whole jumping year and, on today's performance, he's got a live chance.

"He didn't really perform great there last year, but he just didn't get into a rhythm. He feels in great shape and look, it's a very open Gold Cup and he's definitely going to go there with a chance, hopefully."

Reflecting on his decision to retire, McCoy, who was afforded a hero's welcome on his return to the winner's enclosure, said: "At the beginning of the season, after Jezki won at Punchestown, I was at home with JP and his son John and I mentioned that there was a possibility this could be my last year because I've been lucky enough to win 19 jockeys' championships and if I could win 20, it would be a great number.

"I wanted to start the season and give it everything I had and I was lucky I rode my fastest 50th winner, my fastest 100th winner, my fastest 150th winner and I genuinely believed I was going to ride 300 winners, I had no doubt it was going to happen.

"Then I got injured at Worcester one day – I dislocated my collarbone, I punctured my lung and I broke a couple of ribs – and the crazy thing about it was I went back racing three days later thinking I could get through it.

"Then I got another fall not long afterwards and managed to break the collarbone that I dislocated. For those three weeks I probably struggled a lot mentally because I had thought that something I wasn't able to achieve for 20 years was going to happen and then it was taken away and that was probably the only thing in racing, in terms of achievement, that really broke my heart.

"So then it was just about trying to get the most out of it as I could.

"My wife Chanelle had no idea what was happening and I asked my agent Dave Roberts, who has been looking after me for 20 years, to come down on Monday night. I had the conversation with him – Chanelle had no idea, the only other person in the world that had any idea, I think, was JP and I told Dave in front of Chanelle and they were both a bit gobsmacked.

"I said I was thinking about retiring at the end of the season and I was wondering what way to go about it, whether I just leave it until after Aintree and then I was very aware that people might speculate because hopefully it was going to be my 20th year – I wanted it to come out on my terms.

"I wanted it to be me that said 'this is the time' and I decided that I was lucky to be close enough to ride my 200th winner and I hoped that if I rode my 200th winner, then that would be the time.

"It was a good achievement, it was on a high and it was going to be on my terms. Then I hoped that I could enjoy my last few months riding, which I'm going to do."

McCoy said he intends to get Cheltenham and Aintree behind him and decide then whether to go out on a winner or ride until the last day of the season at Sandown on April 25.