America’s Ryder Cup captains policy is nonsense

Zach Johnson is taking on the US Ryder Cup again, having played in five and lost in four
ZACH'S BACK: Zach Johnson is taking on the US Ryder Cup again, having played in five and lost in four
Image: GETTY IMAGES

Golf fans may well have missed the fact that the US Ryder Cup team unveiled two more assistants this week.

Though, maybe you did see the “news” and simply breezed across it, figuring it must have been a report from two, four, six years ago — because the names were the same.

First off was Davis Love III.

Held up as the captain who inspired the win at Hazeltine in 2016, it is seemingly inconceivable for the US to go into a Ryder Cup minus Love.

As a player, Love was among the vanquished on four of six occasions, while he has been an assistant captain twice and lost twice.

His record as a captain is a bit better — one defeat, one victory.

The defeat happens to be historic, with his team somehow succumbing after leading 10-4 — at home.

So Love’s overall record reads: P10, W3, L7.

Next up is Zach Johnson. Played in five, lost in four.

Johnson is something of a new boy to the backroom, but appeared to fit in easily enough on his first appearance as a vice-captain in Paris two years ago — the US lost.

Yes, Zach’s back.

Then there is Jim Furyk, whom captain Steve Stricker appointed as his primary right-hand man way back in February.

It is actually awkward analysing Furyk’s Ryder Cup record, as it feels like one is intruding on personal grief.

Suffice to say, his beating as captain at Le Golf National in 2018 did not look out of place on his CV.

No matter, Stricker was impressed.

The 17½-10½ reversal was their worst display in 12 years and their third-worst ever.

But then Stricker himself might have a low benchmark when it comes to evaluating performances in the biennial dust-up.

He has a losing record as a player and a vice-captain.

Well, Stricks was the only choice, really. And that is the point.

The Wisconsinite was genuinely the obvious choice for Whistling Straits when it came to the rules of the infamous US “Task Force” set up in the aftermath of the Gleneagles mutiny of 2014.

In an attempt to wrest the power into the hands of the players, those such as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods introduced the guideline that two of the assistant captains should have already been captains.

Think about that, with America’s abominable recent results sheet (one win in five).

It makes no sense. — The Daily Telegraph

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