Strange Speaks on Ryder Cup


U.S. Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange said Wednesday that he expects civility between the two sides in this year's biennial event, to be held at The Belfry in West Midlands, England.
Strange said that he and European captain Sam Torrance have discussed at length the importance of not repeating any unsportsman-like instances, such as the one that transpired on the 17th green Sunday in 1999 at Brookline when the U.S. Team rushed the green upon Justin Leonard's 45-foot Cup-clinching putt.
'Sam and I have talked a lot about, you know, respect and etiquette for each other as players,' said Strange. 'That's something Sam and I are going to stress to our team. Just because, you know, we have a very special sport here and we think a lot of it. And we think a lot of the Ryder Cup, but we don't want to do anything to hurt either one. It's as simple as that.'
The Ryder Cup won't be the first time Strange and Torrance will do battle. Wednesday, Strange disclosed that he and his counterpart would have a friendly battle in a Shell's Wonderful World of Golf match to be contested in Rhode Island on June 19th, the Tuesday before the Buick Classic.
Strange also said he will be playing in this year's Benson & Hedges International Open, to be held at The Belfry, May 10-13.
'I think somewhere during (Ryder Cup) week it might help that I know the golf course,' Strange said. 'It's been a long time since I played (the course), I just think, somewhere during the week, it might help.'
Strange has also listened to advice from past Cup captains such as Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins and Tom Watson.
'It wouldn't be smart for me not to because there's so much resource for me to talk to about anything about the Ryder Cup,' Strange said.
Due to his responsibilities as Ryder Cup captain, Strange is not a fulltime member on the PGA Tour for the first time since 1977. The five-time Ryder Cup team member (6-12-2 career record) said he needed to put the majority of his time and energy into his captaincy.
'It's a long process. It really is,' he said of preparing for the event. 'It's a lot more than I ever anticipated, but it's been fun, too. It's certainly an eye-opener.'
In terms of his team, Strange said he supports Tiger Woods' decision to play in the Trophee Lancome, held in France the week prior to the Ryder Cup. Strange said, depending upon the player, 'it can be advantageous to play the week before.'
And though he stated there would be no opportunity to get the team together as a group beforehand, Strange said he had no pre-conceived notions of how he would fill his team - veterans or rookies - with his two-wildcard selections.
'Everybody is on the list. I have not eliminated one person, as far as who might be an option,' Strange said. 'Everybody has to do this for the first time and to see somebody's eyes, you know, whoever the first-timer on our team, or two or three of the them, can you imagine their eyes when they get over to The Belfry and see all of these people and see all the atmosphere?
'There's a lot of adrenaline going through the body - the flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, all that stuff. It's a very unique, nice feeling.'
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