U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk sounds like a man champing at the bit to officially fill out his American team and accelerate final plans for the matches in Paris next month.
With eight automatic qualifiers secured last Sunday, all that’s left are his four captain’s picks.
“At times it felt like it was dragging on,” Furyk told Amanda Balionis during CBS TV’s rain delay Saturday at the Wyndham Championship. “I’m excited to get to this point.”
But still in no hurry to commit to naming Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as two of his captain’s picks.
“We have some great choices and certainly Tiger and Phil look like they are in great form,” Furyk said.
Furyk, when specifically asked about Tiger’s chances as a pick:
“He’s played great,” Furyk said. “I’m in such a great position right now with so many players playing well and so many great players to choose from. The difficult part is going to be, `How do we pluck four guys out of there?’ Certainly, Tiger is in great form and has put himself in a great position.”
And on Mickelson’s chances:
“Phil does provide a lot of veteran leadership,” Furyk said. “He hasn’t missed one of these in a long time. He’s had a good season, and he’s putting extremely well. I want to say he’s second in putting stats right now. All good stuff, and we’ll see how the next few weeks kind of play themselves out.”
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Furyk doesn’t have to make his first three picks official until Sept. 4, with the final pick to be named six days later. While Woods and Mickelson may be locks, Furyk won’t be rushed.
“There’s still time.” Furyk said. “We are in an exciting part. We have eight guys. I’m still talking to them, gathering some information. The vice captains have been talking a lot. It’s been fun seeing the banter and the texts going back and forth.
“We’ll see how the next few weeks play themselves out.”
Furyk, by the way, is in contention at the Wyndham Championship. He was tied for 11th, six shots off the lead when interviewed in the weather delay.
So, if he wins, would he resurrect talk of being a playing captain?
“The odds are about zero right now,” Furyk said. “Now that I’m kind of knee deep, and we’re getting that close to the Ryder Cup, I really don’t think it’s possible to do both, be a player and a captain. The duties would be too great. And my game, I haven’t played well the last couple years. I’ve been battling injuries and battling myself. I’m excited, I have been feeling a lot better here the last few months and I’ve started playing some good golf.”