Azinger: If Ryder job was offered, 'I would have done it'

Updated: December 11, 2008, 2:43 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

NAPLES, Fla. -- Another attempt at captaining the U.S. Ryder Cup team was so intriguing to Paul Azinger that he would have accepted the opportunity to try and beat the Europeans again.

Azinger
Azinger
But he was never asked.

As Corey Pavin was being announced as the U.S. captain for the 2010 matches in Wales, Azinger caught part of the news conference on television after play was postponed at the Merrill Lynch Shootout. And Azinger was fine with the decision.

"He's a logical choice, and it's time to move on and try to keep the Ryder Cup," Azinger said. "If it was offered to me, I would have done it. But it wasn't. It would have been a great opportunity to try and win it again, but I'm happy we won this year and hope to see it keep going."

Azinger said the idea was broached with PGA of America officials when he and several members of the team attended a White House ceremony last month. He let it be known that he would be interested in becoming the first captain since Ben Hogan in 1947-49 to do it twice in a row.

But Azinger also said he understood that the PGA of America long has had a system in place to rotate captains and that he was fine with the decision to move in another direction.

Unfortunately, there was a bit of a communication gap, as Azinger was still talking publicly a few weeks ago about doing it again while the PGA of America was offering the position to Pavin, who said Thursday that he had on-going discussions and finally got the call on Nov. 24.

If asked, Azinger said, he would be happy to give Pavin his thoughts and advice. And he feels good about handing over the captaincy in good shape.

"I loved that role as captain," he said. "I think my handprint is on the Ryder Cup for a long time. We had 12 of the top 13 Americans on the money list on our team, and that's an indication that the selection process worked. The team-building concept, breaking the team into groups ... it's stuff that's never been done, I'm sure. And I'm happy we won and we do it again."

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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