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Will Couples overshadow Love at Ryder Cup?

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U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III on Wednesday named Fred Couples as one of his assistant captains. Couples is a two-time winning Presidents Cup skipper and one of the most popular players in the sport. Will his presence overshadow Love at Medinah? Ryan Ballengee and Rex Hoggard weigh in.

By RYAN BALLENGEE

BETHESDA, Md. -- Davis Love III practically admitted his Ryder Cup captaincy will be overshadowed by his appointment of Fred Couples as an assistant captain.

In fact, Love is already looking forward to a potential Couples captaincy in 2014.

'Now I can start lobbying (Couples) to be an assistant for his team if I don't make it next time, because I've been looked over twice already,' Love said Wednesday. 

Couples is a rock star compared to Love, despite the current captain holding five more PGA Tour wins and sharing the same number of majors and Players Championship titles. Couples' attachment to the Presidents Cup has elevated its status, even more than when Jack Nicklaus was leading America against the International side. 

The Ryder Cup already has plenty of intrigue. Perhaps Love's decision to bring on Couples will take some out of the '14 matches.


By REX HOGGARD 

BETHESDA, Md. – There’s no chance Fred Couples commandeers the spotlight during this year’s Ryder Cup because there’s no chance he wants either the attention or the stage.

It’s why U.S. captain Davis Love III was so quick to name Couples an assistant captain for this fall’s matches. This isn’t about ego; this is about winning and that’s all that matters to Love and Couples.

In Couples, Love sees a Presidents Cup captain with a perfect record (2-0) who has  been recalled for a third term next year, not competition for the spotlight or otherwise.

On Wednesday, when Love named Couples and Mike Hulbert the first of four assistants, he referenced Boom Boom’s ability to make light of any situation as a driving force in his decision. For Love, Couples promises to be a laidback yin to his own Type A yang.

Although Love said all decisions are ultimately his, one gets the feeling that this will be a “captain by committee” cup. Captain America has already spoken with almost every previous captain and when asked who he would model his captaincy after he seemed split between a litany of competing styles, from the intimidating presence of Curtis Strange to the relaxed atmosphere of Jack Nicklaus.

Couples will not steal the spotlight because at this Ryder Cup there really won’t be an “I” in T-E-A-M.