Love optimistic as he looks ahead to Ryder Cup


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. ' United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III said Wednesday that hes getting close to naming his four assistant captains, isnt worried about a lack of depth currently filling the eight automatic roster spots and believes Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will each play their way onto the team.

Tiger doesn't have a start in this year yet, Love said during a pre-tournament interview session at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. I don't know how many Phil has, maybe two, two or three. [He has three.] Give [Steve] Stricker some more time. [Jim] Furyk some more time. I think it'll start looking very similar. We'll probably have four or five guys that have done it before and four or five guys that haven't, and that's the way it usually works out.

The current standings show seven potential rookies in the eight automatic spots, with Stricker serving as the lone veteran. The other players are Kyle Stanley, Keegan Bradley, Johnson Wagner, Brandt Snedeker, Mark Wilson, Jason Dufner and Ben Crane, but Love believes the makeup of that group will change many times before the points system is closed on Aug. 12.

I like the guys that are on there because they're making a ton of birdies, you know, and that's what we need to do is make tons of birdies, he explained. If I had this eight guys playing like that in September, yeah, I'd be very happy. You just want eight guys playing that good, and that's what we're looking for.

As for his assistants, Love intimated that he may wait to make the announcement with his European counterpart.

I'm trying to narrow down my four right now, he said. I think we will probably announce, again, talking to Jose Maria [Olazabal], seeing when he is ready, trying to time it together.

Love confirmed that his longtime friend and two-time Presidents Cup-winning captain Fred Couples is among those being considered for one of those positions.