Golf Talk Live - Bernard Gallacher Transcript Segment 2

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 19, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
IN '69 WHEN YOU WERE 20 YEARS OLD AND THREE MONTHS, YOU WON WHAT WAS CALLED THE SCHWEPPES OR WHAT WE THINK OF AS THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP.
BERNARD GALLACHER
YEAH
PETER KESSLER
TODAY, THE MOST IMPORTANT TOURNAMENT ON THE EUROPEAN TOUR. HOW CRITICAL TO YOUR CONFIDENCE AND AS A SPRINGBOARD WAS THAT WIN FOR YOU THAT YEAR?
BERNARD GALLACHER
WELL IT WAS AN IMPORTANT TOURNAMENT BECAUSE IT'S, IT'S LIKE EVERY GOLFER WHO TURNS PRO. YOU WANT TO WIN A GOLF TOURNAMENT BUT YOU'RE NEVER SURE IF YOU'RE UP TO IT AND, AND THAT PARTICULAR, I REMEMBER IT'S A BIG LONG GOLF COURSE IN ASHBURNIN IN WALES AND
THE WEATHER WAS POOR AS WELL MOST OF THE WEEK AND, YOU KNOW, I JUST HAD A GOOD WEEK, AND BUT, WHEN I GOT A CHANCE, COMING UP THE LAST, I KNEW I HAD TO MAKE A FOUR UP THE LAST TO WIN AND I WAS UP TO IT AND DID IT AND IT'S A BIG MOMENT BECAUSE AS I SAID YOU JUST DON'T
KNOW IF YOU'RE UP TO IT UNTIL YOU'VE PUT YOURSELF IN THAT POSITION AND THAT, THAT'S, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT AND I THOUGHT WELL, THAT'S GOOD, I'M, I'M UP TO THIS. I CAN, I CAN HANG ON HERE, I CAN WIN TOURNAMENTS.
PETER KESSLER
DID ANY TOURNAMENT THAT YOU EVER WON EVER MEAN MORE TO YOU THAN THAT PARTICULAR WIN?
BERNARD GALLACHER
NO, IT'S FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT AND YOU KNOW, PEOPLE TALK ABOUT RYDER CUPS AND WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR YOU IN GOLF, BUT THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING IS WINNING A GOLF TOURNAMENT. THAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT. WINNING THE FIRST ONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. THE MOST IMPORTANT GOLF TOURNAMENT.
PETER KESSLER
NOW OF COURSE THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT YOU WON TWICE IN AFRICA, YOU WON TWICE ON TOUR IN EUROPE. YOU WERE, YOU MADE YOUR FIRST RYDER CUP TEAM. YOU WERE SELECTED TO PLAY FOR SCOTLAND IN THE WORLD CUP. DID YOU NOT START TO
SECRETLY THINK, WAIT A MINUTE, IF I'M THIS GOOD NOW AT 20, BOY WHAT AM I GOING TO BE LIKE WHEN I'M 23 OR 24? NO THOUGHTS OF GETTING OUTSIDE OF GREAT BRITAIN AT THAT POINT AND CONQUERING THE WORLD?
BERNARD GALLACHER
WELL, I, I ALWAYS CONSIDERED MYSELF A BRITISH GOLFER. I KNOW PEOPLE WERE, I KNOW BRIAN BARNES WANTED TO GO AND PLAY AND, IN AMERICA AND TONY JACKLIN WAS PLAYING IN AMERICA AT THAT TIME, AND, AND TONY PUT DOWN HIS WINNING THE
BRITISH OPEN IN '69 THROUGH HIS TRAINING ON THE AMERICAN TOUR, BUT I NEVER REALLY HAD ANY AMBITION ABOUT PLAYING IN AMERICA BECAUSE I, I DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO LEAVE HOME AND I FELT I WAS ALWAYS COMFORTABLE GOING HOME ON A
SUNDAY NIGHT AND, WHERE AS IN AMERICA, YOU COULDN'T REALLY PLAY IN AMERICA UNLESS YOU'RE FULLY COMMITTED TO COMING OVER HERE AND LIVING OVER IN AMERICA AND PLAYING ON THE TOUR AND IT'S SOMETHING DEEP DOWN I DIDN'T WANT TO DO.
PETER KESSLER
NOW OF COURSE THE YEAR BEFORE IN '68, TONY WON IN JACKSONVILLE HERE
BERNARD GALLACHER
YEAH
PETER KESSLER
IN THE UNITED STATES. WINS THE OPEN IN '69. WHAT, WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO SOMEONE WHO CAME FROM A SIMILAR BACKGROUND, WAS ONLY A FEW YEARS OLDER
BERNARD GALLACHER
YEAH
PETER KESSLER
WINNING THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP THAT PARTICULAR YEAR. THAT IN YOUR, ESSENTIALLY START OF WINNING TOURNAMENTS IN GOLF.
BERNARD GALLACHER
YEAH WELL I CAN REMEMBER DISTINCTLY BECAUSE I WAS REALLY ANNOYED THAT TONY WON BECAUSE THERE WAS SUCH A BUILD UP WHO WAS GOING TO BE THE FIRST BRITISH GOLFER TO WIN THE OPEN SINCE MAX FALTON HAD WON IN 1953.
BECAUSE WE HAD ALL THE PETER THOMPSONS AND BOBBY LOCKES AND THEN ARNOLD PALMER DOMINATED AND GARY PLAYER DOMINATED AND BY THE TIME 1969 CAME ALONG, THERE WERE STILL NO BRITISH GOLFER SINCE MAX FOLTEN IN '53 HAD WON THE BRITISH OPEN.
PETER KESSLER
WASN'T MAX '51?
BERNARD GALLACHER
WELL '51 EVEN, YEAH, MAKES IT EVEN BETTER AND YOU KNOW, I WANTED TO WIN THAT OPEN AT ROYAL LITHUM AND... SO BUT ONCE I HAD COOLED DOWN I THOUGHT WELL THAT'S GOOD AT LEAST TONY JACKLIN'S WON AND YOU KNOW
TOURNAMENT ANNOUNCER IN BACKGROUND (MALE):
THERE IS TONY JACKLIN(UNINTELLIGIBLE) 72 AND 280
BERNARD GALLACHER
TONY WAS A GREAT PLAYER IN THOSE DAYS AND HE STOOD OUT ON THE 18TH TEE ON THE 72ND HOLE PLAYING WITH BOB CHARLES AND BOB CHARLES OF COURSE HAD ALREADY WON THE OPEN AT LITHUM IN A PLAYOFF WITH PHIL ROGERS AND TONY MADE THE MOST TERRIFIC DRIVE
DOWN THAT LAST HOLE AND YOU KNOW I WANTED TO DO THAT, I WANTED TO TRY THAT BUT WATCHING TONY IT WAS GREAT THAT HE DID IT. AT LEAST HE DID IT, AND HE, HE WAS A BRITISH GOLFER WHO DID IT. IT WAS A BIG MOMENT FOR, FOR BRITISH GOLF WHEN HE WON THAT OPEN.
PETER KESSLER
WAS IT TRUE THAT GARY PLAYER AND COMMENTING ABOUT YOUR GRIP IN 1969 SAID IT'S ONE OF THE WORST GRIPS I'VE EVER SEEN. WAS THAT A FAIR COMMENT AT THE TIME BY
GARY.
BERNARD GALLACHER
WELL IT WAS, YEAH IN, IN '69 I PLAYED IN THE FIRST ROUND WITH GARY PLAYER IN THAT OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP. THAT WAS AN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP. I FELT I HAD A GOOD CHANCE OF WINNING BECAUSE I'D HAD A GOOD YEAR AND I WAS PLAYING WELL AND I WAS PICKED WITH GARY AND, YOU KNOW I PLAYED A GREAT FIRST
ROUND. I HAD 70 IN THE FIRST ROUND AND GARY CAME IN AND HE SAID WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT WAS A BIT BLOWN UP BY THE PRESS, YOU KNOW, I THINK GARY, GARY TENDS TO SPEAK IN EXTREMES AND HE SAID WELL, YOU KNOW, THAT WAS THE WORST GRIP I'VE
SEEN, BUT HE WAS COMPLIMENTARY IN OTHER WAYS THAT WERE SORT OF DELETED FROM THE, FROM THE NEWSPAPER, BUT THEY PICKED ON WHAT HE SAID, BUT YOU KNOW HE WAS, HE WAS RIGHT. IT, IT WAS A, IT WAS A POOR GRIP, IT WAS A, IT WAS A VERY STRONG GRIP.
AND IT INSPIRED ME TO CHANGE MY GRIP AND I THINK I BECAME A BETTER STRIKER OF THE BALL, BUT AS I SAID TO YOU AT THE START OF THE PROGRAM, I'VE ALWAYS FOUGHT, FOUGHT MY METHODS
BECAUSE OF NOT HAVING THE TUITION AT THE START OF MY GOLFING CAREER.
PETER KESSLER
NOW GARY, LAST TIME HE WAS HERE TOLD US THAT HE ALWAYS EXAGGERATES BY TEN
BERNARD GALLACHER
(LAUGHING) YEAH. THERE YOU GO.
PETER KESSLER
SO YOU SHOULDN'T FEEL BAD.
BERNARD GALLACHER
YEAH, NO, WELL THAT'S RIGHT. YEAH, SO I DIDN'T FEEL BAD AT ALL, BUT GARY WAS MY HERO AND IT WAS, AT THE TIME IT WAS A SHOCK TO BE CRITICIZED BY THE PERSON YOU PROBABLY ADMIRED THE MOST IN THE WORLD.
PETER KESSLER
HE HAD A STRONG GRIP WHEN HE FIRST
BERNARD GALLACHER
YEAH
PETER KESSLER
STARTED AND MAYBE THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS HE PICKED
UP ON YOURS.
BERNARD GALLACHER
YEAH WELL I THINK THAT'S RIGHT, YEAH. HE WAS TRYING TO BE HELPFUL.
PETER KESSLER
A WRITER SAID ABOUT YOU AND THAT YOUR 69 THAT YOU HAD THE ODD FLASH OF TEMPER THAT YOU COULD GET ANGRY IN PUBLIC AND THAT YOU WEREN'T AS EVEN GOING AS PEOPLE HAVE GENERALLY THOUGHT OF YOU OVER THE YEARS.
WAS THAT TRUE OF YOU AT THE TIME? WERE YOU A LITTLE TEMPERAMENTAL?
BERNARD GALLACHER
WELL I THINK I WAS ANGRY, YEAH. I GOT ANGRY WITH BAD SHOTS BUT I ALWAYS, I ALWAYS TRIED TO IMPROVE MY TEMPERAMENT. IN FACT ONE OF MY HEROES WAS BOB CHARLES. I ALWAYS FELT BOB CHARLES HAD THE PERFECT TEMPERAMENT. YOU NEVER KNEW IF YOU LOOKED AT BOB ON THE GOLF COURSE AND THE SAME TODAY, YOU DON'T KNOW
WHETHER HE'S 5 UNDER PAR OR 5 OVER PAR AND I WANTED TO BE LIKE BOB CHARLES. EVERY NOW AND AGAIN I FELT LIKE BERNHARD GALLAGHER. IF I HIT A BAD SHOT I WOULD BANG THE CLUB DOWN BUT YOU KNOW, I'VE, I'VE ALWAYS WORKED ON MY, ON MY TEMPERAMENT,
AND BUT IT'S ALWAYS BEEN MY IDEA TO KEEP COOL AND COLLECTED UNDER PRESSURE. NOT TO GET CARRIED AWAY WITH THE EMOTION OF THE OCCASION, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT, YOU
KNOW, YOU MIGHT NOT WIN ALL THE TIME, BUT THAT'S, THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO GET TO THE TOP IN GOLF AND WIN GOLF TOURNAMENTS I THINK.
PETER KESSLER
THAT SAME WRITER SAID ABOUT YOU THAT YOU WEREN'T AFRAID TO WIN AND THAT YOU HAD THE CONFIDENCE TO CLOSE WHEN YOU WERE IN CONTENTION. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE SOURCE OF
YOUR EARLY CONFIDENCE WAS THAT ALLOWED YOU TO FEEL LIKE YOU WANTED TO GO GET IT AND THAT YOU COULD GO MAKE IT HAPPEN?
BERNARD GALLACHER
WELL I DON'T KNOW IT'S SOMETHING YOU'RE BORN WITH, I THINK. THERE'S THIS COMPETITIVE SPIRIT, COMPETITIVE EDGE. I MEAN, I, I'VE HAD IT WHEN I USED TO DO A LOT OF RUNNING AT SCHOOL, CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING. I USED TO BE, DO MILE RUNNING, I USED TO GET ANNOYED WITH MYSELF IF SOMEBODY BEAT ME. I USED TO GO OUT THERE AND I
LIKED TO BE IN FRONT ALL THE TIME AND WHEN I WAS IN FRONT I HAD THIS PRIDE. I FELT TERRIBLE INSIDE BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO SHOW PEOPLE AND I KEPT GOING AND I CARRIED IT ON INTO, INTO GOLF AND IT'S SOMETHING YOU CAN'T LEARN. I MEAN, YOU, YOU IT'S SOMETHING YOU CAN'T
PICK UP IN A GOLF BOOK AND LEARN. YOU CAN BE TAUGHT A GREAT METHOD, YOU CAN BE TAUGHT A GREAT SWING, YOU CAN BE TAUGHT TO DO THE RIGHT THING BUT UNDER PRESSURE YOU CAN'T TEACH SOMEONE TO BE A WINNER. HE'S GOT TO BE A WINNER. YOU'RE BORN WITH IT.
I'M AFR... I'M SORRY TO SAY THAT, BUT IT'S SOMETHING YOU EITHER HAVE OR YOU HAVEN'T.
PETER KESSLER
WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK WITH BERNARD GALLACHER. DON'T GO AWAY.
(MUSIC)
(BREAK)
NEXT SEGMENT
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Watch: Furyk throws out first pitch at Yankees-Mets

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 12:59 pm

As part of a a New York media tour to promote the Ryder Cup, U.S. captain Jim Furyk threw out the first pitch at Monday evening's game between the Yankees and Mets at Yankee Stadium.


Here's a look at some more photos from Captain Furyk's Ryder Cup Trophy tour.




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Randall's Rant: Woods' message to young rivals: Bring it on!

By Randall MellAugust 13, 2018, 11:24 pm

Bring it on!

OK, I’m not fluent in body language, and maybe that’s not exactly what Tiger Woods was communicating with his exuberant fist pump after closing out a 64 Sunday at the PGA Championship, but there was so much hope in the excitement he let loose with his closing birdie.

Hope beyond what was still going on behind him at Bellerive.

Hope in what lies ahead.

Bring it on!

You know Woods wanted Brooks Koepka to hear his legion roar, to let Koepka know he better not stumble back there behind him. You know he also wanted Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and all today’s stars to hear all those roars, to let them know he’s finally fit for a fight again.

Bring it on!

Yes, Koepka refused to flinch, and Woods ultimately finished second, but that rollicking last fist pump told you what Sunday’s finish meant to Woods.

He’s going to win again.

That’s the confidence won closing the way he did, celebrating at the 72nd hole in a way we’ve only ever seen him do on his way to hoisting a trophy.

Because that’s where he is headed again.

He can and will win again.

Bring it on!

That’s the thrilling promise Sunday brought to all of golf.

Koepka wasn’t about to get out of Woods’ way, in the fashion the players of another era seemed to do when weekend roars preceded a Woods stampede. Koepka did today’s players a favor sending his own message. He was a rock. He didn’t flinch and didn’t fold in the wake of all those deafening Tiger roars.


PGA Championship: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


If Koepka flinches Sunday, it sends the wrong message to all these other young guys. It gives them all pause. It makes them all wonder if Tiger’s aura really does come with some unfair advantage, with a one- or two-shot advantage in his ability to ride the noisy chaos to heights they can’t. We heard more than one young star complain this spring about the boisterous crowds that followed Woods.

These young guys don’t need that in their heads.

So Koepka didn’t back down, and Johnson, Thomas, McIlroy, Spieth, Day, Fowler and Rahm aren’t likely to, either.

That’s the great fun Woods’ comeback brings. The battles all these young guys say they want with the legend are real possibilities now, with all those Tiger birdies and Tiger roars confirming Sunday that he is ready to begin giving them what they want.

“I’ve always wanted to battle it out in a major with Tiger,” Jordan Spieth said during The Open last month. “Who hasn’t? It’s kind of a dream come true, just to have the opportunity.”

The wonder in Sunday’s finish is that Woods was so good spraying his driver all over the place early in the round. Back in the day, he would have said he shot that 64 with his “B” game. You won’t hear him say things like that now, but the beauty in the round was knowing how he may have turned a 70 into a 64. It was in knowing how much better he still might get on these old legs.

It’s a shame we have to wait eight months for the Masters to see if his run of T-6 at The Open and 2nd at the PGA Championship continues on a majestic trajectory, because the message I heard in his last fist pump is still ringing in my ears.

Bring it on!

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Eight Men, Four Women Advance to "Tennessee Big Shots," Airing Monday, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. ET Live on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 13, 2018, 7:25 pm

Airing Live on Golf Channel, Fourth Televised Event of 2018 is Final Tour Stop Prior to Season-Culminating Volvik World Long Drive Championship

Field Boasts Six of Top-10 in World Led by No. 1 Justin James, Three-Time 2018 Winner Will Hogue; & Two-time World Champion Phillis Meti

The World Long Drive Association (WLDA) season continues tonight with the Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital, airing live at 6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. The live telecast will showcase the eight men and four women having advanced from preliminary rounds where they’ll compete in single-elimination matches until respective champions are crowned. The Open (Men’s) Division field will feature six of the top-nine competitors in the World Long Drive rankings, including No. 1 Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.) along with Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.), who has accumulated three wins to-date in 2018. The Women’s Division will feature two-time world champion Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand) and Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.,) who won the Clash in the Canyon earlier this year. Chloe Garner (Johnson City, Tenn.,) also is returning from injury in her first competition of 2018 in what will be a de-facto “home game,” while LPGA Tour player Emily Tubert (Burbank, Calif.) is the fourth semifinalist, competing in her first-ever WLDA competition.

“We’ve finally reached the home stretch of the season,” said Jonathan Coachman, play-by-play host for World Long Drive Association events on Golf Channel. “With the World Championship only weeks away, the competitors understand the need to be on their game. I’ve always said that champions show up anytime, anywhere, for anything. They better have that mind-set, beginning with tonight’s Tennessee Big Shots.

 

OPEN DIVISION QUARTERFINAL MATCHES (Seeded by world ranking):

(1) Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.) vs. (25) Wes Patterson (St Louis, Mo.)

(5) Ryan Steenberg (Rochester, N.Y.) vs. (8) Paul Howell (Wilson, N.C.)

(4) Ryan Reisbeck (Layton, Utah) vs. (9) Kyle Berkshire (Orlando, Fla.)

(2) Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.) vs. (24) Stephen Kois (Wheaton, Ill.)

 

WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCHES:

Alexis Belton (Ruston, La.) vs. Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand)

Chloe Garner (Johnson City, Tenn.) vs. Emily Tubert (Burbank, Calif.)

 

Being staged from Cattails at Meadowview Golf Course in Kingsport, Tenn., the inaugural event – in partnership with Ballad Health’s Niswonger Children’s Hospital – is the fourth WLDA event of 2018 scheduled to air live on Golf Channel. Tennessee Big Shots is being contested in association with the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Classic. The eventalso marks the penultimate WLDA competition of the year, with the season-culminating Volvik World Long Drive Championship taking place Aug. 30-Sept. 5.

COVERAGE: Live coverage of the Tennessee Big Shots will air on Golf Channel from 6-8 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 13, with Golf Central previewing the event from 5-6 p.m. ET. Encore showings of the competition are scheduled to air on Golf Channel following the live telecast, from 10 p.m.-Midnight ET and 12:30-2:30 a.m. ET.

The production centering around live coverage of the competition will utilize six dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including a SuperMo camera as well as two craned-positioned cameras that will track the ball in flight once it leaves the competitor’s clubface. An overlaid graphic line on the grid, the “DXL Big Drive to Beat,” (similar to the “1st & 10 line” made popular in football) will display the longest drive during a given match to signify the driving distance an opposing competitor will need to surpass to take the lead. The telecast also will feature a custom graphics package suited to the anomalous swing data typically generated by Long Drive competitors, tracking club speed, ball speed and apex in real-time via Trackman. Trackman technology also will provide viewers with a sense of ball flight, tracing the arc of each drive from the moment of impact.

BROADCAST TEAM: Veteran sports broadcaster Jonathan Coachman will conduct play-by-play alongside Art Sellinger, World Long Drive pioneer and two-time world champion (1986, ’91). Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz will offer reports from the teeing platform and conduct interviews with competitors in the field.

DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Fans can stay up-to-date on all of the action surrounding the Tennessee Big Shots by following @GolfChannel and @WorldLongDrive on social media. Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will be on-site contributing to the social conversation as the event unfolds, and, the telecast will integrate social media-generated content during live coverage using the hashtag, #WorldLongDrive.

Golf Channel Digital also will feature content from the Tennessee Big Shots leading up to and immediately following the live telecast.

 

2018 WORLD LONG DRIVE ASSOCIATION SCHEDULE:

DATE

EVENT

LOCATION

WINNER(S) / DEFENDING CHAMP

March 15-17

East Coast Classic

West Columbia, S.C.

Justin Moose

April 21-24

Clash in the Canyon (*Golf Channel*)

Mesquite, Nev.

Alexis Belton, Will Hogue

May 11-15

Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun (*Golf Channel*)

Maricopa, Ariz.

Phillis Meti, Will Hogue

June 4-5

Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash (*Golf Channel*)

Atlantic City, N.J.

Sandra Carlborg, Mark Costello

June 21-23

Bluff City Shootout

Memphis, Tenn.

Will Hogue

July 6-8

Bash For Cash

Port Rowan, Ont., Canada

Ryan Steenberg

August 2-4

WinStar Midwest Slam

Thackerville, Okla.

Kyle Berkshire

August 12-13

Tennessee Big Shots benefitting Niswonger Children’s Hospital (*Golf Channel*)

Kingsport, Tenn.

(New Event)

September 1-5

Volvik World Long Drive Championship (*Golf Channel*)

Thackerville, Okla.

Sandra Carlborg, Justin James

Showcasing the truly global nature of World Long Drive, several events throughout 2018 are staged through officially sanctioned WLDA international partners, including stops in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, along with an all-encompassing international qualifier for the Open Division of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship in September.

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Making Ryder Cup picks: Furyk begins his toughest task

By Rex HoggardAugust 13, 2018, 6:41 pm

ST. LOUIS – By the time Brooks Koepka teed off for the final round of the PGA Championship, Jim Furyk was already back at his rental house and settled in to watch what would be an eventful final round.

Furyk's day was just getting started.

Although he’d been up since dawn and had already put in a full day at Bellerive with a 7:56 a.m. tee time, Sunday began a process the U.S. Ryder Cup captain has prepared for and anticipated for two years.

“I didn’t get a lot of sleep this week,” Furyk conceded on Sunday following a closing 71 at Bellerive. “At times I found myself with my mind wandering. The afternoon tee times I’m sitting around in the morning and my mind starts wandering and I start looking at stats and start thinking about the Ryder Cup. There’s a million things going on.”

The American captain is officially on the clock. The final round of the year’s final major was the deadline to qualify for this year’s Ryder Cup team, and Furyk now begins the process of narrowing the list of potential captain’s picks.

Davis Love III, who took two turns in the captain’s chair, will tell you this is the toughest part of the gig. Forget about pairings and course setup and vice captains - getting the picks right is what separates a good captain from a great one.

“I saw him around this week kind of frazzled like I was; they are pulling him everywhere,” Love said. “Now it’s a tough couple of weeks. At dinner the other night we were talking about what we were going to do [regarding picks] and I was like, ‘Well, you have to wait for [Sunday] and you’ll get a better idea.”

On that front, the wait is over. The top eight players on the U.S. point list are now locked in and Furyk and his vice captains – Love, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods – can begin the artful process of creating a list of possible picks based on a wide variety of criteria.


PGA Championship: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


The automatic qualifiers are Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson, who held on to the final spot thanks to his tie for 19th at the PGA.

“For some guys we’re going to look at the body of work for a year, for some players we’re going to look at a hot player right now, some guys we’re going to look at pairings and how they fit into the team we have right now,” Furyk said.

Furyk will make three of his captain’s picks on Sept. 3 following the Dell Technologies Championship and his final selection a week later after the BMW Championship.

The short list of possible picks would include Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Woods, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner and Tony Finau, Nos. 9 through 15, respectively, on the final point list.

Schauffele and Finau had something of a playing interview at Bellerive when they were paired with Furyk for Rounds 1 and 2.

“Tony made a pile of birdies, he’s explosive as far as firepower and how far he hits it but I was impressed with his putting, to be honest with you. I knew he could hit it far and kind of knew how he played, but he really played well,” said Furyk, who also played with Finau on Saturday at the PGA.

Mickelson will be a particularly interesting option for Furyk. For the first time in his Ryder Cup career, which began in 1995, Lefty failed to qualify for the U.S. side and the de facto team room front man would be tough to pass over.

“His game has been in a good position all year, he’s putted great, I think Jason Day is the only player with better putting stats this year,” said Furyk, who met with Mickelson after he missed the cut in St. Louis. “He’s working on a couple of things in his game right now that we talked about.”

Woods also creates some interesting scenarios. His runner-up finish at the PGA vaulted him from 20th to 11th on the final point list and essentially assured what many believed to be a foregone conclusion. Woods will be among Furyk’s captain’s picks, the only real question when it comes to the 14-time major champion is whether he can play and drive a vice captain’s cart.

“He’s on that list we’ve talked about and I think we still need to hash that out,” Furyk said. “Is it possible [to do both jobs]? Sure, we just need to decide if that’s best for the team.”

If Woods and Mickelson have already been penciled in as picks, which many believe they have, that essentially leaves a half dozen players vying for the final two spots.

An 11th-hour charge over the next three weeks could certainly sway Furyk, and he’s made it clear that Le Golf National, site of this year’s matches outside of Paris, favors a certain type of game, think a fairways-and-greens type like Kisner or even Brian Harman, who finished 17th on the point list.

“I’ve taken a look at the golf course and what I think will really work,” Furyk said.

There’s also an undercurrent of interest in Furyk going young with his picks to give a player like DeChambeau or Schauffele a chance to experience the unique pressures of a Ryder Cup “road game,” but Furyk didn’t seem as interested in developing future talent as he is in winning.

“Our goals for long term are important and young blood is a good thing, but I would never sacrifice this team or 2018 for 2022,” he said. “The goal is still to go to Europe and try to retain the cup. That said, having a mix of veteran and young players is a good thing.”

If Furyk sounds a little vague when it comes to his potential picks it should be no real surprise. Getting the picks right is the most demanding part of any captain’s job and he’s just getting started.