The sun came up in the east, snow blanketed the Northeast and Davis Love III was named the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup captain on Thursday, a foregone conclusion that did not escape “Captain Obvious” . . . eh, “Captain America.”
“This has been such a well-kept secret. I’m going to be the Ryder Cup captain, just want to get that off the table,” Love joked.
As for the rest of the 44-minute media meet-and-greet the new captain covered everything from potential assistant captains (none were announced) to the potential of Love possibly earning a spot on his own team. The only thing not covered was leaky rain suits and the likelihood of lavender cardigans.
Here are some highlights from Thursday’s announcement:
The six-time Ryder Cup player was asked how important experience will be in 2012 at venerable Medinah: “Corey Pavin did me an incredible service. Seeing it from the inside (as an assistant captain last year), watching how much hard work he put into. We learned a lot. I need to go back to the former captains and take little things from each one of them,” he said.
On what players can expect from a DL3 captaincy: “I’m a players’ captain. I’ll try to get them what they need to be successful. Stay out of the way and let them show their talents,” he said.
On what it means to captain a team run by the PGA of America, an organization his late father was a member of: “To be named Ryder Cup captain is a thrill I never thought I would have. I would love to share that with my father and I know, somehow, I am,” an emotional Love said.
On possible changes to the current selection process, which takes the top eight Americans from a points list and four captain’s picks: “I’d rather not make four picks, I watched Corey do it. I think it will be one of the hardest things to do,” he said. “One of the hardest things is telling the guys who didn’t get picked. Obviously, the system has worked. It’s fine. We identified eight great players and four great picks last time.”
On the possibility of earning a spot on his own team: “I’m never going to give up my goal of playing,” he said. “Between (European captain Jose Maria Olazabal) and myself if one of us gets hot with the putter we may make our teams. I don’t want to leave a guy off our team that may help us win, and if that’s me great.”
On what he would look for in potential captain’s picks: “I want guys who are playing well and putting well. I’m going to pick a hot putter. I wanted to be the guy out there with all that pressure and I’m going to pick guys like that,” he said.
On his leadership style: “You take the best of Lee Trevino and Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw. I’m not going to say I’m the smartest guy and a great leader but I have been around a lot of great leaders and I think that experience will help me get through,” he said.
On possible format and golf course changes that would benefit the Americans: “Either way we’re going to play both of them (foursomes and four-ball). Ultimately, it’s not really the format it’s how comfortable players are with each other. I don’t think we can set the format and set the golf course up well enough to give us a real advantage.”
And finally, on whether he thinks Ryder Cup captains get too much credit for a win and too much blame for a loss? “Yes,” he said without hesitation.
With that, Love was off for a turkey hunting trip in Georgia, the only creatures in America who were surprised by Thursday’s announcement.