/ Golf

Davis Love III feels he has right mix for US Ryder Cup team

Updated: Wednesday, 05 Sep 2012 13:10 | Comments

Davis Love III overlooked Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney and Bo Van Pelt
Davis Love III overlooked Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney and Bo Van Pelt

United States captain Davis Love III believes he has the right mix of youth and experience to forge a powerful team for this month's Ryder Cup.

Love finalised his line-up for the clash against Europe at Medinah yesterday by naming Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson as his wild-card picks.

They join eight automatic qualifiers in Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.

Snedeker will be one of four rookies alongside Dufner, Bradley and Simpson but at the other end of the scale Woods, Mickelson and Furyk have made 21 appearances between them.

Stricker, 45, who has played in the last two competitions also adds considerable experience as one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour.

Love, a veteran of six Ryder Cups as a player, said: "You definitely need some of both.

"You need the youthful, enthusiastic energy of the young guys and you also need the calming influence.

"The best thing that ever happened to me playing Ryder Cup golf was Tom Kite.

"Tom and I were friends - we'd been through a lot. He beat me in play-offs and I watched him hit a million golf balls.

"When I played three Ryder Cup matches with him it set me up for what the Ryder Cup was all about."

He added: "If you put Brandt Snedeker out there for first practice with Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk, that's all you need to do. After one day he'll be ready to go."

Love's task is to coax performances out of his players to break the recent stranglehold of the Europeans, who have won four out of the last five events and six out of the last eight

One theory often put forward as a reason for Europe's dominance is that they gel better as a team than the more individualistic Americans, but Love says that is a myth.

He said: "Building a team and camaraderie are what it is all about.

"We pull together a lot better than people think we do. Then the only thing is we try too hard because we are so together.

"These guys know how to do it. We have just got to go do it for three days in Medinah."

Love had an enviable choice players to make his four selections from but opted for the experience and consistency of Stricker and Furyk and the form of Snedeker and Johnson.

Snedeker is also a renowned putter while the long hitting of Johnson may suit the course.

That meant other fine players such as Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney and Bo Van Pelt missing out.

Love said: "There are four great players that we have picked that are all playing very well and bring a lot to the team but it was definitely a tough call for me.

"I felt in the end we rounded out our 12 the best way we knew how."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip