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Love inevitable choice as Capt. Ryder

It was never a question as to whether Davis Love III would eventually be asked to captain the United States team in the Ryder Cup matches.

It was only a matter of when.

According to various reports, Love will be introduced as the next Captain America at a news conference this week at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago, where the 2012 matches will be played. His counterpart will be Jose Maria Olazabal, whose European captaincy is to become official Tuesday.

It's a perfect fit on both sides.

For Love, born in Charlotte, it's the next best thing to another major championship. His selection is a testament to his place in the game, not just for the 20 PGA Tour events he won.

For more than 25 years, Love has done it the right way. The son of a great teaching pro and a mother whose guidance has remained steadfast, Love seems born to be a Ryder Cup captain.

Scan the snapshots from his career and here's what you see: His rainbow moment winning the 1997 PGA Championship; five versions of him smiling in the tartan jacket after winning the Heritage Classic; and Love representing his country in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

He played on six Ryder Cup teams, posting a 9-12-5 record, including a 3-1-2 record in singles. He wanted to play in eight Ryder Cups, equaling the record shared by Raymond Floyd, Lanny Wadkins and Billy Casper, but he didn't make it.

The captaincy will suffice.

Love served as an assistant captain to Corey Pavin in rain-soaked Wales last fall, getting a taste of what he'll face leading up and into what's sure to be an emotional week at Medinah. Not that he didn't have a good idea before.

He won't captain the way Paul Azinger did nor the way Pavin did. Love will find his own style and go with that. It will be well thought out and he'll play the emotion card, just as Olazabal will.

Love sees the big picture. Some of his best moments have come in work he's done behind the scenes or in the way he's been able to draw a proper perspective on whatever the issues of the day have been.

The worst that can be said of Love is he didn't win more often as a player. It's something he said about himself.

But 20 wins, including a PGA Championship and two Players Championships, are among the best of his generation. Throw in his perpetual presence on U.S. teams in international competition, and Love will eventually be a Hall of Famer.

He understands what it takes and the players will love playing for him.

With his country club style, Love has a classic image, but the reality is somewhat different. He's a 46-year-old man who loves to turkey hunt, ride motorcycles and snowboard. He prepared for his season opener last week by hitting balls into a net at his Idaho ski house.

Give him some barbecue, a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and Love is content. He's grown older but maintained his youth. That's a good thing.

It should come in handy at Medinah next year.

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