Golf - UPDATE 2-Golf-Watson named U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2014

* Watson returns as U.S.

Eurosport

captain

* Eight-times major champion to become oldest U.S. captain

* Woods says Watson is a "good choice" (Adds quotes)

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Tom Watson was named on Thursday as the United States captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, a move the Americans hope will end their run of losses in the biennial match against Europe.

Watson succeeded Davis Love III as the American captain for the next edition of the biennial golf match between the U.S. and Europe and received an instant stamp of approval from Tiger Woods.

A winner of eight majors, including five British Opens, the 63-year-old Watson joined a select group to lead the U.S. team more than once and will become the oldest American captain in the event's history.

"I was waiting 20 years to get the call again. I loved it the first time," said Watson, who led the U.S. to victory in 1993, the last time the Americans won the Ryder Cup away from home.

"I've been a great fan of the Ryder Cup, always been watching, I get the same gut feeling just watching it at home on TV. It's a great honour to do it again and this time it is going to be 14 and a half points."

In a break from tradition, the PGA of America made Thursday's announcement on national breakfast television, the NBC's Today show.

Watson appeared live on the show and was scheduled to hold a news conference near the top of the Empire State Building later on Thursday.

In recent years, the U.S. has picked a new captain for each Ryder Cup but the PGA said it wanted to try something different after losing seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.

The most recent was just over two months ago in Chicago when the Americans threw away a commanding four-point lead heading into the final day, which became known as the meltdown at Medinah.

"I've lived for that pressure, lived underneath that pressure all of my career and I just hope I can set the table for these players to go out," said Watson.

"I'm a stage manager, I set the stage for them and they go out and perform their act and in two years I hope that we can get it done."

Watson has been critical of Woods but the former world number one was among the first to applaud his appointment and declare his availability.

"I'd like to congratulate Tom Watson on his selection as Ryder Cup captain," Woods said in a statement released within minutes of the announcement.

"I think he's a really good choice. Tom knows what it takes to win, and that's our ultimate goal. I hope I have the privilege of joining him on the 2014 United States Team." (Additional reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Ed Osmond)

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