Furyk looking ahead to Ryder Cup changes
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda (AP) — Jim Furyk thinks it’s time for the Americans to think long term about the Ryder Cup.
Furyk and Rory McIlroy both said Monday at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf that the public fallout from another American loss in the Ryder Cup last month at Gleneagles could be helpful. Europe now has won eight of the last 10 times.
The next Ryder Cup is at Hazeltine in 2016, though Furyk said the Americans need to look beyond that.
“In the Ryder Cup, we have always talked about, ‘We have got to win the next one.’ I think we’ve got to be a little more farsighted than that,” Furyk said. “I think we need to look at the next 10 to 20 years of Ryder Cup golf. ... For the next 20 years we got 10 events. Let’s think about maybe 5-5 is good, let’s think about 6-4, let’s think about 7-3. Let’s go on the winning side of it.”
“When we look back the last 20 years, it’s probably a 2-8 type of deal,” he said. “Let’s reverse that tide and get it moving forward.”
In the weeks since the most recent loss, various reports have painted an ugly picture of U.S. captain Tom Watson’s heavy-handed style and old-school motivation. In an awkward and at times uncomfortable press conference at Gleneagles, Phil Mickelson raved about what worked in their last win in 2008 and that Watson ignored that winning formula.
“In a way, it’s not a bad thing that the PGA of America might start looking at the Ryder Cup a little differently or trying to sort of come at it from a different angle,” McIlroy said. “So in the end, it might not have been a bad thing to shake things up a little.”
Furyk said the back-and-forth about the captain has been unfortunate.
“I think Rory is spot on,” Furyk said. “The silver lining may be that it gives us a chance to have an open discussion. I want to look at the past, I want to see where we made our mistakes, and how we can get better.”
The PGA of America is responsible for selecting the captain. It now wants to create a task force of past players and captains to find ways to improve.
Paul Azinger, the captain of the last U.S. team that won in 2008 at Valhalla, is not interested in being part of a committee just yet. He said Monday by telephone that it was too soon after the most recent matches, and he has a meeting already scheduled next month with the PGA of America.
Azinger did not want to talk about the details of what he would share with the PGA.
Furyk said he is curious to hear different ideas, especially because it would be the first time everyone was heard as a group.
“Amongst ourselves, we talked a lot about where we have gone wrong in the past, what can we do better in the future,” he said. “I’m anxious to kind of see the views from all different angles from the officers, from the captains, from the players.”
Furyk and McIlroy will be paired together when the Grand Slam gets under way on Tuesday. The 36-hole exhibition is for the major champions this year, and Furyk is playing as an alternate because McIlroy won the British Open and the PGA Championship.
U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer and Masters champion Bubba Watson round out the field.
Bermuda was hit by Tropical Storm Fay on Sunday, though Port Royal made it through in good shape.
“It doesn’t look like there’s been anything,” McIlroy said. “Obviously, there’s a few limbs off trees and stuff on the side of the fairways, or in the rough, but the golf course is in great shape.”
Strong wind is in the forecast for the next two days, with locals also keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Gonzalo, which could become a hurricane by Friday.
AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to his report.