Jeff Sluman was a U.S. Ryder Cup Team Assistant Captain in 2010 at Celtic Manor and will be an Assistant Captain this year at Medinah Country Club. Captain Davis Love III is determining who the final four players on the team will be and he does not feel that it is mandatory to pair a rookie with a veteran and Corey Pavin proved that at Celtic Manor in 2010.
He has been an Assistant Captain with Jack Nicklaus three times in the Presidents Cup as well as with Corey Pavin in the 2010 Ryder Cup and during that time, he has learned a great deal about who should be paired with Tiger Woods and it has become clear that Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk are the ideal playing partners.
When asked if he would trade his 1988 PGA Championship title for one Ryder Cup experience, he said that he would not but added that looking back, he should have been a member of the PGA of America when he won at Oak Tree in 1988. At that time, you had to be a member of the PGA of America to earn points and while it is good that that requirement has changed, Sluman still wishes that he had had a chance to play on a Ryder Cup team.
There is so much happening in the time when a Ryder Cup captain is selected and he remembers having conversations with Davis Love III when the announcement was made. He does not know what Love III’s philosophy will be as a Captain but he has a feeling that he will know about it when the final four players are selected on September 4th.
When he was an Assistant Captain in the Presidents Cup, Jack Nicklaus gave him more responsibility each time and he learned that one of the most important things about having a successful team is making sure that the patrons as well as the players have the right attitude because having the right attitude creates the right atmosphere in which to win.
The Encompass Championship will be played next year on the Champions Tour in the Chicago area at North Shore Golf Club. North Shore is a great course and it hosted the 1933 U.S. Open when Johnny Goodman became the last amateur to win the U.S. Open. Chicago has hosted the BMW Championship for many years but with the event moving around over the next several years, it will leave the Chicago area without professional golf for a number of years so he is excited that the Champions Tour will have a presence in a city as great as Chicago.
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