JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Stewart Cink made his Ryder Cup debut as an assistant captain and will likely be part of Jim Furyk’s backline at next year’s Presidents Cup competition at Royal Montreal.
Furyk did not announce any of his assistants, but suggested it would be a mix of experience and fresh faces, something that American teams are sorely lacking.
“Each captain has to choose people who he thinks can give him the best support and the best opportunity to get the team in the right mindset,” Furyk said. “We have to look to the future a little bit. We’ve been saying this for years. I think Stewart Cink was a great addition and did a great job as vice-captain. I’ve seen this happen a little bit.”
Furyk, who captained the Ryder Cup in France, said while it’s good to have rotation, he understands the value of experience. Steve Stricker has selected him as his assistant for Whistling Straits in 2021.
“That 2018 team was fresh in my mind… things that worked, things we needed to improve,” Furyk said. “Nobody would know that better than me. Taking a few guys from the past and a few for the future is a good idea.
Stricker has been a part of every U.S. team since 2007 – seven as a player, nine as vice-captain or captain. Davis Love III was a Ryder Cup captain twice and a President’s Cup captain once. He was an assistant seven times. Fred Couples was a three-time Presidents Cup captain, four-time assistant captain and three-time Ryder Cup assistant captain.
“They need to get rid of guys like Davis Love and probably Fred Couples and move on,” Love said last week. “I’m lobbying for it.”
So why does it keep coming back?
“I told a few people at the Ryder Cup, ‘Man, this is my last time.’ And they said, “No, no, no.” And I said, “Yes, yes, yes.” It’s time,” Love said. “I said that to Tiger in 2019. I said, “I’ve had enough.” He said, “Yes, you’re right, who we think we should catch, the young boys.” And then Stricker brought me back the next year.
Love has tapped Webb Simpson as an assistant for the 2022 Presidents Cup – Quail Hollow is Simpson’s home course. Furyk invited Matt Kuchar to join him in Paris.
“I haven’t paid attention to how Europeans do it, and I’m not sure I really care,” Furyk said. “They have their own system and it works.”
Furyk said he expects “a new face or two” at Royal Montreal and “I would really like Stewart to be on this lineup.”
THE RETURN OF HAZELTINE
The KPMG PGA Women’s Championship returns to Hazeltine.
Tuesday’s announcement expands its partnership with the Minneapolis-area club and the PGA of America. Hazeltine hosted the PGA Championship when Rich Beem defeated Tiger Woods in 2002 and when YE Yang defeated Woods in 2009. It also hosted the Ryder Cup in 2016, which was an American victory. Hazeltine will host the Ryder Cup again in 2029.
Hannah Green won the Women’s PGA at Hazeltine in 2019, becoming only the third player to win the wire-to-wire tournament.
“Hazeltine has proven to be an elite hosting site that attracts spectators from across the country, as well as Canada, to our Championships,” said PGA of America President John Lindert.
The PGA of America became involved in the LPGA Major in 2015 and took it to some of the best golf courses such as Aronimink, Congressional, Baltusrol and Atlanta Athletic Club, all of which previously hosted men’s major courses. It will be held for the second time next year in Sahalee near Seattle. At Sahalee, Vijay Singh won his first major title in the 1998 PGA Championship.
RYDER CUP ATTRACTION
The numbers are coming in and stating the obvious: The Ryder Cup is a big deal.
Authorities say that over six days, 271,191 spectators from 100 countries watched matches at the Marco Simone Stadium. They found that 2,653 social media posts from Ryder Cup Europe, Ryder Cup USA and other social channels generated more than 600 million views and page views.
Social media channels achieved 197.6 million views and the channels gained 500,000 new followers.
Ryder Cup Europe platforms showed a 117% increase compared to the Ryder Cup 2018 in Paris.
The most important number was, of course, that Europe scored 16½ points and regained the cup.
Kristen Gillman, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, was tied for 13th on the Epson Tour awards list and missed out on holes in the final tournament of the year. Two holes later, she had her LPGA Tour card.
Gillman made an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and an eagle putt on the 18th hole of the LPGA International. This placed her fourth and moved her to 10th on the prize list to earn her tenth and final LPGA card for 2024.
SAND STRIP INVITATION
Pebble Beach has its iconic three-course rotation on the Monterey Peninsula. The Dunhill Links Championship consists of three courses and includes two British Open venues in St. Andrews and Carnoustie.
New is the Sandbelt Invitational, which has been confirmed for the third year in a row in Australia. Organized by the Geoff Ogilvy Foundation, it features a 72-hole tournament over four courses in the legendary Sandbelt region.
It starts at Victoria Golf Club, moves to the South Course at Peninsula Kingswood, moves on to Yarra Yarra for the third round and finishes on the East Course at Royal Melbourne.
The tournament will be held on December 11-14.
In addition to being held on great courses, the Sandbelt Invitational features a mix of men and women, professionals and top amateurs.
“We cannot thank our host clubs enough for their continued support of this tournament, which gives Australia’s New Wave the opportunity to learn from experienced players in the same way that I and many others have been fortunate to have,” Ogilvy said.
The average age of the 30 players who earned 2024 PGA Tour cards through Korn Shuttle is 30.3 years old. Three of these players are in their 40s. … Henrik Norlander has now lost twice in five-player playoffs on the PGA Tour. The second one took place at Sea Island in 2016. Norlander won a five-way playoff on the Korn Ferry Tour. … Max Homa will join Justin Thomas among the PGA Tour players heading to South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge. … Xiyu Lin is the only top-20 player in the women’s world rankings who has yet to win on the LPGA Tour. She is coming off a win in the Aramco Team Series in Hong Kong on the Ladies European Tour and is competing in the Buick LPGA Shanghai, her first LPGA event in her home country since 2019.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Luke List has played in 46 tournaments without a top 10, from his first PGA Tour victory at Torrey Pines in 2022 to his second PGA Tour title in Mississippi.
“It’s a 72-hole tournament that happens every week and it really doesn’t matter what happens until the final results come out on Sunday.” — Ben Griffin, who blew a three-point lead in the final round and lost in a five-way playoff at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
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