Love picks Couples, Hulbert as Ryder Cup assistants

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BETHESDA, Md. – As expected, Davis Love III named Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert his assistant captains for this fall’s Ryder Cup. The American captain said he will name his final two assistants in a few weeks.

Or maybe Couples will announce the news like he inadvertently did last month, telling reporters at a Presidents Cup news conference, “I'm going to help Davis, I think. I don't know if that's out yet, but I believe he's pretty much put that out there.”

Well now it’s officially “out there.”

“There was a reason Michael Jordan was assistant captain (at the 2009 Presidents Cup),” Love said. “It wasn't because Michael Jordan is really cool and a good basketball player and they were going to go hang out. There was a reason for that and there was a reason for picking guys early, there was a reason for everything (Couples) did. When you get him on the phone, which is difficult sometimes, when you get him going, he really doesn't stop talking about it, talking about the guys on the team and the things that he did.”

Couples, who will captain the U.S. Presidents Cup team for the third time next year, has a 7-9-4 record in five Ryder Cup matches, while Hulbert has never played in a Ryder Cup but has been one of Love’s closest friends and was an assistant captain for Curtis Strange at the 2002 matches.

Love is likely waiting to name his final two assistant until the current U.S. point standings become clearer.

Love also announced that the format for this year’s matches, Sept. 28-30 at Medinah near Chicago, will begin with alternate shot sessions each morning followed by four-ball play in the afternoon.

“We feel like with our team, the way it's shaping up, the way it's played in the past, that's a good thing for us to do right off the bat in the morning,” Love said. “Across the board, the players that I've talked to were either for it or heavily for it.”