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2025 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Odds: Does Stewart Cink Have A Chance?

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 5 mins

2025 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Odds: Does Stewart Cink Have A Chance?

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In the end, Zach Johnson suffered the same fate as the last six U.S. Ryder Cup captains picked to lead the Americans into Europe with the hopes of ending a road losing streak that now stands at 30 years.

Bitter defeat, along with the lion’s share of the blame. 

He joins a growing list of those who have tried and failed to lead the Americans to their first victory in Europe since 1993, including Tom Kite, Curtis Strange, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Tom Watson, and Jim Furyk. 

None of those men have been asked to captain since, nor will Johnson after a rocky tenure that included controversial captain’s picks, head-scratching lineups, and rumors of an internal divide. 

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime honor for most, one that can’t be turned down even with the knowledge things get messy in enemy territory. It’s also thankless in defeat. But every two years this event comes back stateside, where the Americans have more than held their own in recent years. 

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain on home soil. That’s the gig you really want. And it’s up for grabs again in the coming months ahead of the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black on Long Island. 

The Americans are looking for a third straight home win after blowout victories at Hazeltine National and Whistling Straits, and 2025 promises to feature one of the biggest home-course advantages in the history of this event.

The crowds at Bethpage Black are notoriously rowdy, loose-lipped, and intimidating. And they don’t even have a problem with most of the individuals who’ve teed off for recent major championships at the venue. There’s no telling what it’ll look and sound like when presented with a clear enemy in opposing colors. 

All we know for sure is that there’s a small pool of candidates who will be dying for the chance to lead the U.S. squad into the arena and serve as captain for one of the most anticipated Ryder Cup environments of all time. 

2025 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Odds

NameOddsImplied Probability
Tiger Woods-18064.3%
Stewart Cink+21032.3%
Matt Kuchar+80011.1%
Phil Mickelson+30003.2%

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This wasn’t even supposed to be a discussion. 

It’s been 10 years since Bethpage Black was announced as the 2025 Ryder Cup host. Back then, Phil Mickelson was still beloved in New York and considered the ‘People’s Champ.’ It was simply assumed for years that Mickelson would serve as captain for the first time here, in his second home of sorts. 

So much for that. Mickelson’s reputation is shattered and he’s not suitable for the gig anymore having led the charge for LIV Golf’s insurgence.

It’s back to the drawing board for the task force, but there’s an obvious choice for a stage this big. 

Tiger Woods has fully embraced the elder statesmen persona in recent years. He started opening up more and connecting with young players while coming back from spinal fusion surgery in 2018, and he’s been a leader in Tour discussions in recent years in the twilight of his competitive career. 

He was also a playing captain at the 2019 President’s Cup in Melbourne, Australia, leading the Americans to a thrilling 16-14 win over a scrappy International squad on their turf. 

Woods seemed to embrace every aspect of the job. He’s always been meticulously detailed and has an obsessive personality. That lends itself to a situation like this, and an event in which his involvement will help scratch the competitive itch long after his playing days are truly over. 

We have Woods as the heavy favorite. If he wants it, there’s no way it goes to anyone else. But Woods has rarely been willing to entertain the thought of a post-competitive career until recently, and we don’t know what exactly he has in mind for the future. Maybe he wants to give it one more go as a playing participant. 

Maybe he has something entirely different in mind. Most likely, he’ll be wearing the main headset as the Red, White and Blue tee off at Bethpage. 

If Woods were to turn it down, there’s only a few sensible options. Stewart Cink among them. 

The 50-year-old was a vice captain for the first time under Johnson in Rome, he played in five Ryder Cups and he’s a major champion. He’s one of the most likeable guys on Tour and checks a ton of boxes looking ahead to 2025. Johnson bringing him to Rome will give him a much better understanding of how it all works, and we doubt anyone would be opposed to Cink if Woods isn’t available. 

A third candidate in Matt Kuchar would be more of a longshot. He wasn’t a vice captain under Johnson in Europe and his reputation as the lovable prankster took a serious hit with the whole caddie payout controversy in Mayakoba. But that was four years ago and Kuchar would keep it light in the team room in an otherwise deadly-serious environment. Still, he just doesn’t seem like the right fit at this event and the lack of buzz reflects that. 

Finally, shocking as it would be, we can’t entirely rule Mickelson out just yet. The Tour and LIV Golf have reached an agreement and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now. He’s still down bad, but there’s plenty of time to launch a full image rehab campaign and somehow win his way back into the good graces of the golf world. 

But once again it looks like Mickelson has self-destructed and let a sure thing slip away, with Woods ready and waiting to steal the spotlight. 

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About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.