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Nelson disappointed not chosen Ryder Cup captain

Nelson disappointed not chosen Ryder Cup captain

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Larry Nelson thinks it was a great idea for the PGA of America to pick someone older to be Ryder Cup captain.

He's just disappointed it wasn't him.

Nelson, a three-time major champion with a 9-3-1 record in three Ryder Cup appearances, said Wednesday on Golf Channel's ``Morning Drive'' show that no one from the PGA of American contacted him about being the captain.

``And I do not have a ticket to New York, so apparently it's not going to be me,'' Nelson said.

Golf Digest reported on its website that the PGA of America planned to make Tom Watson the next U.S. captain. It would be the second time that Watson, who will be 65 when the Ryder Cup is played in 2014 at Gleneagles in Scotland, has been a captain. The other time was in 1993, and Watson hasn't been to a Ryder Cup since then.

``It's disappointing, certainly not devastating,'' Nelson said. ``We don't quite know how the decisions are made and what goes into those. We just to have to react to what they are.''

Nelson, a two-time PGA Championship winner, was in line to be Ryder Cup captain until being passed over for Lanny Wadkins in 1995 and Tom Kite in 1997. Nelson was thought to be too far removed from the game to be considered, though there has been a recent push for the 64-year-old Nelson to finally get his chance.

The PGA of America broke from its conventional pick and went with a veteran, but it wasn't Nelson.

``I think it's tough because it's kind of the third time this has happened,'' Nelson said. ``It seemed to gather more momentum this year than in the past, and I'm certainly appreciative of the thousands of people who tweeted or sent me emails that were hoping this might be the time. I'm flattered by all that stuff, certainly disappointed. I don't know why the decision was made the way it was, but you just have to honor that.''

Nelson is a quiet man from Georgia, though his career is remarkable beyond his three majors. He didn't take up golf until after he returned from the Vietnam War, and he turned in a career worthy of being voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Watson is celebrated worldwide for his eight majors and epic duels with Jack Nicklaus. He is particularly popular in Scotland, where he won his first major at Carnoustie in 1975. Watson won the British Open five times, four of them in Scotland.

Nelson thought it was a ``great decision'' for the PGA of America to go away from its mold of picking past major champions in their late 40s who still played on the PGA Tour. It's just that Watson already had his chance as captain in 1993, the last time the Americans won a Ryder Cup in Europe. Watson is the first repeat captain since Jack Nicklaus in 1987 at his home course of Muirfield Village.

``Tom will be a two-time captain. That I don't quite understand,'' Nelson said. ``Other than that, I think it's a great way to go.''

Nelson said he wouldn't be interested in being an assistant captain.

``There are a lot of people who probably have less credentials that have been captain, and a lot of people that have more credentials that haven't been,'' Nelson said. ``That puts me in area that it's not a decision I can make. It's a decision people I haven't even talked to made. They make the best decision they possibly can and what they think will help the Ryder Cup. You just have to go with it.

``I'm not totally surprised, just disappointed.''

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What happens in Vegas....

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What happens in Vegas....

It's almost here.

After a lengthy break between the conference finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, the Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are set to meet on Monday for Game 1.

Who will hoist Lord Stanley's Cup?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir give their keys to the series and their predictions for the Stanley Cup Final. Plus, JJ speaks with several member from the local media to get their insights and predictions.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 27, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Here is my sunrise view from this morning:

Looking at next year’s free agents

This post was originally published on March 18. 

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens. 

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard). 

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility. 

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon. 

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup. 

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight. 

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler