Love brings in Sluman and Verplank as assistants
Davis Love yesterday completed his backroom team for next month’s Ryder Cup, naming Scott Verplank and Jeff Sluman as his final two assistant captains.
They join Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert for the match at Medinah on Chicago on 28-30 September, when Europe, under Jose Maria Olazabal’s leadership, will try to retain the trophy they won back at Celtic Manor two years ago.
Olazabal has yet to name any of his four assistants, preferring to wait until he knows certain individuals cannot make the side on points.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke are thought to be front-runners, with McGinley also the favourite to succeed Olazabal as skipper for the 2014 contest at Gleneagles.
Love also gave strong hints that Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk will be three of his four wild cards and that Rickie Fowler may edge Dustin Johnson for the final spot.
Stricker is Tiger Woods’ obvious partner, while Love said that Furyk “can be paired with anybody” and added that Fowler and Bubba Watson were the side’s clowns in Wales.
“They had a lot of fun – they loosened up our team,” Love said. “Obviously Bubba and Rickie go well together in everything they do, on and off the golf course. Maybe not that well in those videos, but they go very well together.”
Love was referring to a music video the pair have compiled with Mahan, the player whose defeat by Graeme McDowell cost America the match and who finished the American points race just outside the top eight.
He was ninth, Stricker 10th, Furyk 11th and Fowler 12th, with Johnson down in 15th after missing part of the season – including The Masters – through injury.
“We will need some guys with experience,” Love added. “When you look at our top 15 or 20, some names jump out at you – like Hunter has won twice this year. Hard to believe he didn’t get there on points with the year he’s had.”
Love names his choices on 4 September after the first two events of the FedEx Cup play-offs. That gives others the chance to impress, although Love said he was asked by the PGA of America not to announce anybody before then.
“We wanted 4 September to be fun,” he added.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North