Ryder Cup: Love adds experienced Furyk and Stricker to American side
DAVIS LOVE III rang the closing bell during a visit to the NASDAQ in New York yesterday.
It wasn’t the moment, though, to call time on the Ryder Cup careers of either Jim Furyk or Steve Stricker.
The experienced duo were handed wild cards along with Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker as Love, the American captain, put the finishing touches to his side for the match at Medinah, near Chicago, from 28-30 September.
While his European counterpart, Jose Maria Olazabal, had a straightforward task in offering his picks to Nicolas Colsaerts and Ian Poulter at Gleneagles just over a week ago, Love faced the same sort of headache the Spaniard’s predecessor, Colin Montgomerie, had two years ago. Like him, the former USPGA champion was spoilt for choice as Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney and Bo Van Pelt were other strong contenders.
With three rookies – Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner and Webb Simpson – among the eight players who had qualified automatically, it always seemed likely that Love would be looking to add some experience and, with a combined nine appearances between them in the biennial event, Furyk and Stricker fitted that bill perfectly.
Both have also successfully partnered the enigmatic Tiger Woods in the past, either in the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup.
Johnson, who tasted defeat on his debut in the event in Wales two years ago, cemented his place by finishing fourth behind Rory McIlroy in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston on Monday. The big-hitter will add some firepower to the American team, as will Snedeker, although he has also been picked on the back of some strong putting performances in recent weeks.
The quartet will join automatic choices Woods, Dufner, Bradley, Simpson, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson as the Americans bid to win back the trophy in Illinois.
“It was tough to leave anybody off,” Love said of his selections. “This is probably the deepest, strongest year of earning [US Ryder Cup] points that I’ve seen and there were a lot of guys that have played a lot of really good golf.
“We could have gone very deep this year down the points list. There are four great players that we have picked that are playing very well and bring a lot to the team. I felt like, in the end, we rounded out our 12 the best way we knew how.”
Europe have won four of the last five matches and six of the last eight, including a 14½-13½ success in Wales last time out, but Love has left no stone unturned in his bid to lead the Americans to victory.
“We’re looking to match guys up, we’re looking for pairings, we’re looking to plug some holes, we’re looking to add some experience, add some putters. These guys all fill those roles perfectly,” he added.
“I can’t tell you how excited I’m going to be for the next 22 days to talk to these guys, work with these guys and get ready to play some golf.”
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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