One thing the current U.S. captain will admit is that his Day 1 pairings are pretty much done. He was staring at his composed list of teams while center piecing a teleconference from his home in Williamsburg, Va., on Thursday.
I still reserve the right to change,' he said.
Another thing Strange was adamant about was player participation. When asked if he had considered sitting anyone down until the Sunday singles matches, Strange replied firmly, No.
The Ryder Cup Matches are for those who qualify to participate in. Im not going to say everyone is going to play an equal amount, which has been done in the past at times, Strange said.
When you qualify you deserve the right to play at least one match before the singles.
Strange will have one final tournament to assess his players when 10 of the 12 team members compete in the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Hal Sutton and Stewart Cink are the only U.S. teammates not to qualify for the overseas event; however, they will be playing Stateside in the Tampa Bay Classic.
Strange touched on a number of subjects in his press conference. He reiterated that postponing the Matches due to last years Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was the proper thing to do, and added the delay shouldnt dilute the intensity.
From a media standpoint it has been a little quieter ' theres been no qualifying and no captains picks, which are usually exciting, Strange said.
Leading up to the Matches there may be a somber mood, more respect, but once the peg goes in the ground youre going to see a hard-fought match. Anything less wouldnt be fair to the public or the players.
While Strange expects the excitement level to increase as Ryder Cup week goes along, he also expects to see a side of civility that was lost at Brookline in 1999.
(European captain) Sam (Torrance) and I have tried to bring back a positive image and atmosphere for these Matches, Strange said.
He also said he was not going to talk to his players about the infamous incident on the 17th green at the last Ryder Cup, but said he would remind them that they will be under the microscope more so than ever.
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