News & ToursJanuary 16, 2012

Love still figuring out Ryder Cup plan

HONOLULU -- Two years ago at Waialae CC, then Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin recruited two of his assistant captains for the U.S. team, Paul Goydos and Davis Love III. A month later at the Northern Trust Open he revealed the identities of all four assistants.

When Love, the current U.S. Ryder Cup captain, conducts his first press conference of the year at next month's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, he likely won't be ready to announce who his assistants will be. There are contingencies to consider, including the PGA Tour's captains selections for the 2013 Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village GC.

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Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The United States and Europe square off in the 39th Ryder Cup September 28-30 at Medinah CC near Chicago.

"We're thinking March (for naming assistant captains)," Love said at the Sony Open in Hawaii. "Jose Maria (Olazabal the European captain) is not real sure when he wants to do it, and we don't want to get too far ahead of him. Just trying to stay on the same page with him as much as I can."

Love, who missed the cut at the Sony Open after a second-round 5-over 75, said the President Cup announcement could impact his decision on his four assistants. For instance, if close friend Fred Couples is tapped for a third turn to lead the U.S., that is a factor.

"I'm waiting until after the Presidents Cup captains are named, which will be in the next few months," said Love, who wouldn't mind having Couples in his team room given the two decisive U.S. victories over the International team in the last two Presidents Cup matches.

Related: Golf Digest's match play "Dream Team"

Love and Couples have spoken a number of times since the U.S. win in Melbourne, Australia in November. Love learned plenty from Couples, his teammate for four straight World Cup titles.

"It was very interesting to talk to him. All I can say is I was impressed at the level of detail and how things were planned out," Love said. "We talked about details even down to me not being an assistant captain (at Royal Melbourne) because he told me he wanted me to play so badly that he didn't want to mess me up by making me an assistant. So could he be an assistant for me? Yeah, he could. If he isn't the captain of the Presidents Cup again, he'd be an ace in the hole for sure. He's 2-0 and they played great for him.

"I've already talked to a lot of the former captains, and I've got a lot going on in my head now," Love added with a slight laugh. "I've got to come up with some kind of strategy, because they all had a plan. Whether it worked or not is something else. Right now I can't say I have a plan, but there's plenty of time."

-- Dave Shedloski

Follow @DaveShedloski

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