Love admits to player-captain dream
There has not been a Ryder Cup playing captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963, but Davis Love isn’t ruling it out in 2012.
Davis Love III does not rule out being the first playing-captain of a United States’ Ryder Cup team since Arnold Palmer in 1963.
The 46-year-old, confirmed on Thursday as Corey Pavin’s successor, told the media after his appointment: “If I qualify and I know that I am healthy, I would like to play.
“Maybe I would play once a day and turn my radio in. It would be a nice problem to have.
“We’ll cross that bridge if we get to it, but it would be a great story for our team if I get three or four points out of the deal.”
Love currently stands 111th in the world and last season finished fourth in the Players Championship and sixth at the US Open.
In his first start this year he was ninth at the Sony Open in Hawaii last Sunday.
The last of his six Ryder Cup caps, though, was earned in Detroit seven years ago.
One of Pavin’s four assistants in the one-point defeat at Celtic Manor in October, Love was as much a favourite to take over as Jose Maria Olazabal was to succeed Colin Montgomerie as Europe captain.
Both appointments have been announced in the same week – and both have already shown what emotional characters they are.
Olazabal always finds it hard to talk about his former partner Seve Ballesteros, still having treatment two years on from the discovery of a malignant brain tumour.
Love, on the other hand, was unable to hold back the tears when asked how proud his late father would have been of him now.
Killed in a plane crash in 1988, Love senior was also a professional golfer and led The Masters just a few days before Davis was born.
“This is a thrill I never thought I would have and I would have loved to share it with him,” he said.
Allen Wronowski, president of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, stated: “Davis Love III inherited a love for the game through his father, a premier PGA teaching professional, and carried that passion into becoming one of the finest competitors in the game.
“From his Ryder Cup rookie year in 1993 to today, Davis has performed so well under pressure and now brings that experience to lead our next United States team and win back the Ryder Cup.”
It is not for his record in the match, though, that Love has been chosen.
He was on only two winning teams and he ended with a personal tally of nine wins and 12 defeats in 26 games.
Just four Americans, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, have ever lost more matches.
The former US PGA champion’s very first match at The Belfry 18 years ago was against Olazabal – and Ballesteros – but Europe’s new captain won the other four clashes between the pair in either foursomes or fourballs.
Love says a key to winning back the trophy at Medinah in Chicago will be getting his team relaxed.
“My main mission is to get the players prepared for Friday morning. What we have been missing is getting over the nerves of being ready to play on the biggest stage.
“We’ve just tried too hard and I’ll be trying to get the players as relaxed and freed up as I can.
“I am a players’ captain and I’m going to get them what they need to be successful.
“I’m not going to tell the best players in the world how to play golf. I’m going to let them show their talents.”
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