It takes a brave man to rise from the ashes after overseeing America’s most dramatic capitulation, but Davis Love III has waited long enough to try and banish the memories from four years ago. He’s leading the US team into battle once again and with Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Tom Lehman and Tiger Woods in his corner, he has got one of the most experienced backroom staff in Ryder Cup history. But will it be enough to right the wrongs of Medinah?
What have you learned from 2012?
I don’t think we were really cocky going in, but we weren’t thinking we’d have a four-point lead on Saturday night. We’ll be a little bit more prepared what to say and we’ll know our players maybe a little bit better this time. That’s what Paul Azinger did really well in 2008. He knew his guys really well, and he had Raymond Floyd to talk to these guys if there was a problem. And I think we’re going to have more experienced assistant captains in our group this time.
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Have you adapted your preparations?
The only difference from 2012 is I’ve got experienced guys already working on it. We didn’t wait until the month before to get assistant captains together to start talking about pairings. Tom has been a captain and he knows what I’m going through. He’s got a list of things and is handling the practice rounds. Jim and I are working on a few things. Steve’s working on some fitness and foods and things like that. Everyone’s taking some pressure off me.
What role will Tiger play as vice-captain?
He’s been so supportive from the very first day we started this two years ago. I’m relying on him, and obviously, his role will be different to Jim Furyk’s role or Tom Lehman’s role. The other team won’t have one of the best players ever to speak to their team.
Have you shared any plans with Darren?
We will play the alternate shot format in the morning, like we usually do in the US, and then play the best ball in the afternoon. Darren and I talked a little bit about that, and a little bit about course
set-up, so we’re all on the same page. Spending time with him reminded me what a great friend he is, what a great guy he is, and what a great gentleman he is. We had a lot of fun. No matter what happens, we’ll leave as friends, and it will be a fun week for both of us.
How does this year’s European team compare with the one in 2012?
They’ve got a lot of rookies. I have played with Rafa Cabrera Bello and he’s a heck of a player. I think they’ve got a youth movement and obviously Danny winning the Masters gives them a boost. They’ve got a bunch of guys playing well, and we’ve got a bunch of guys playing well. And I think we’re both happy with the way things are going on both of our sides.