x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Davis Love bowled by Super Bowl-like Ryder Cup

The enamoured captain of the United States team is spoilt for choice between youth and experience.

Every day Davis Love III has had a dilemma to grapple with the Ryder Cup event.
Every day Davis Love III has had a dilemma to grapple with the Ryder Cup event.

Like many of his predecessors, Davis Love III, the US Ryder Cup captain, has been blown away by the scale of the event and how much work it takes to prepare for the three days of competition.

While Love is excited by the strength and depth of his likely 12-man line-up, he never realised how much time would be devoted to Cup-related business, even though this year's showdown with Europe is still three months away.

"I thought I knew what it was going be like and it's much bigger," Love said. "It's like the Super Bowl is so much bigger than teams think when they get there.

"Getting on the inside of this tournament, you realise how big it is and how many people care about it and how many people want us to win it. ... Just realising how big it is, that's been a shock to me."

A veteran of six Ryder Cups, Love said the September 28 to 30 tournament, to be played at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago, was continually on his mind. "Mark Wilson and I were talking about it all day when we played together," Love said, referring to his partner for the third round of the Memorial tournament.

"There's something every day, whether it's a question or something to get accomplished or my wife's worried about the dress and what's the team hotel is going to be like - with all those little things, it's just kind of almost constant."

With so many US players producing good form this year, Love believes his Ryder Cup team could be a very competitive one for candidates to gain selection.

"There are so many guys playing so well," Love said. "Like Mark Wilson at the beginning of this year, he looked like he was a shoe-in and now he is grinding because so many guys have started playing well.

"There are a lot of young guys playing well and when you look at our board (standings), experienced guys like [Jim] Furyk and [Tiger] Woods are playing well too so I think it's going to be really tough to get on there."

Eight players in Love's line-up will automatically qualify. He will then round out his team with four wild card picks.

As of this week, the leading eight players in the standings were Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Woods, Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley.

The next four were Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas and Brandt Snedeker, and Love could not be more delighted with the blend of youth and experience, and winning ability.

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