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North chosen as US Ryder Cup vice captain

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson has chosen two-time U.S. Open champion and current ESPN golf analyst Andy North as a vice captain for next year's biennial tournament.

Watson made known his decision to appoint the 63-year-old Wisconsinite during a press conference at the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.

''I was absolutely giddy over the opportunity not only hopefully to have a role to get the Cup back but also to be able to help a dear friend,'' North said during the conference.

''If I can take a little bit of the responsibility off of his shoulders and make it an easier week for him, that will be awesome for me.''

North won the 1978 and 1985 U.S. Opens and played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team that took on Europe in 1985.

Since he retired, North has been analyzing the game for ESPN and fraternizing with the tour players, an experience he feels will make him qualified to help Watson make solid choices for the team.

''When you win a couple of U.S. Opens, he knows what it takes to close the deal, and that's what we need on the Ryder Cup team,'' Watson said. ''We need players who can close the deal.''

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