Langer Holds Ryder Cup Press Conference

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 29, 2003, 4:00 pm
'I look forward to being the Captain in Oakland Hills very much. I am very excited and proud to be the Captain. I look forward to the qualifying process which starts next week as you know. The qualifying process has changed and we have five people from a new world ranking which starts next week and it is cumulative points earned over the next 12 months and we also take five people from the official money list and two Ryder Cup picks. Also I am going to be in Oakland Hills on September 29 to do a press conference with Hal Sutton and I have a chance to look at the golf course and the accommodation and other things I need to see to get a picture of everything. As you are aware I will have no say so in how the course will be set up. That is Hal Suttons choice and therefore I have to accept what I find but I am sure it will be playable and in very good shape.'
Q: Do you think the new World Rankings list will make your job easier?
'I believe so. I believe the best players will be in the team and I will not have to waste my Captains picks to pick one or two guys who should already be in the team. That is the idea - that the strongest 12 man team will be playing and that is what we need to beat the Americans or have a chance to beat them.'
Q: Can I just clarify it is a completely new world rankings list and previously earned points will not count?
'Thats correct. It starts from zero and it is cumulative. It is not like the World Rankings now which is based on average per tournament. It is a cumulative so any points you earn will be added on. It is different as the World Ranking at the moment reflects how you played per tournament, how well you have done in a tournament. The one we have adopted gives you a bonus if you play more tournaments. If you play more you have more chance to earn more points.'
Q: Will you only have one vice captain and when will you announce who it is?
'I might have two but there will be no announcements made until May, June, July next year because the vice captain has absolutely nothing to do at this stage. I think I only need him the last few weeks, if at all, prior to the tournament and therefore there is no need to make an announcement now especially as I might think about picking someone who might have a chance of making the team.'
Q: Will you be asking Hal Sutton to keep the format of the first day the same, with fourballs first?
'I really dont know if it makes much of a difference to tell you the truth. In the end you have to play the match whether it is fourball or foursomes. We will discuss that when the time is right.'

Q: You dont favour, like the other European Captains, starting with fourballs?
'Im not sure it makes a big difference.'
Q: Your plan is to play everyone before the singles?
'I think that is something I will definitely do. I dont think it is fair to anybody who made the team, especially rookies, to throw them into cold water on Sunday when they havent experienced the atmosphere and got rid of the first tee jitters or whatever you want to call it. I would want to play everybody the first two days unless there is a very good reason not to do so.'
Q: Can you go through whether you will possibly play or not?
'First of all, I dont think you can do both. You cannot be Captain and play at the same time. It is too much of a job either way. The players need to focus on playing and the Captain needs to do all the other stuff and there are too many things to do. I understand I do have a choice if I do qualify to play but we will take that as the time comes. Another part of the question was what if I was one of the top five in the rankings or money list yet choose not the play, what happens. Does the next guy down move in there? That is exactly what happens. If somebody is sick or I should be in there and decide not to play the next person in line will be making the team.'
Q: So you havent ruled out playing at this stage?
'No, I have nothing ruled out at this stage. It is too far away at this stage.'
Q: How much are you going to change your schedule between Europe and the US to see players in action?
'I think I am going to have a similar schedule for the past two or three years. I am still playing a number of tournaments on The European Tour and I will see these guys in the Majors, in the World Golf Championships and see them on The Golf Channel every week. It is very easy to keep up with the guys and on top of that I can have all the stats sent to me from every tournament around the world. We are really only talking in the end about four to six people who I have to pick the two from.'
Q: Do you see a new generation of golfers making the team next year and some players you played with not playing another Ryder Cup?
'May well be. Nobody knows what will happen in the future but I do hope that our youngsters get better and stronger and come through and not only qualify for The Ryder Cup but also win some Majors and big tournaments around the world. I do think we have at least a handful of very exciting young players and if they mature a little bit I can see all of them being in the team.'
Q: To say you have not ruled out playing should you be playing very well surely puts a great deal of uncertainty into the whole affair. Do you expect a Captain could be put in place at the last minute?
'Probably not the last minute. If I should be playing that well, I always said we need to top 12 players in the team to beat the Americans and that is the priority I believe. If I should be having one of the best years ever and be in at number four or five I might consider it. Obviously at this stage I am totally focused on the captaincy but if I should have a brilliant year then maybe I should consider playing and have someone else take over the job. But it wouldnt be last minute, it would be several months in advance I should think.'
Q: How do you see you style of leadership? Will you be a Seve tearing around?
'I dont think I am a Seve, we all know that. Everybody is different. I have to be Bernhard Langer as that is when I do my best. I am not good when I am trying to be Seve or when I am trying to be whoever. I need to be myself. I need to use my strengths and not my weaknesses.'
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.