JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Stewart Cink made his debut as an assistant captain in the Ryder Cup, and he likely will be part of Jim Furyk’s back room for the Presidents Cup next year at Royal Montreal.
Furyk has not announced any of his assistants, but he did suggest it would be a blend of experience and fresh faces, something the American teams have been sorely lacking.
“Every captain has got to choose folks they think can give them the best support and the best opportunity to get the team in the right frame of mind,” Furyk said. “We have to look at the future a little bit. We’ve been saying that for years. I think Stewart Cink was a great addition and did a wonderful job as a vice captain. I could see that happening a little bit.”
Furyk, who was Ryder Cup captain in France, said while it’s good to have turnover, he understands the value of experience. Steve Stricker chose him as an assistant for the 2021 matches at Whistling Straits.
“That 2018 team was fresh in my mind … things that worked, things that we needed to improve on,” Furyk said. “No one would have known that more than I would. Bringing some guys from the past along and bringing some guys for the future is a good idea.”
Stricker has been part of every U.S. team dating to 2007 — seven as a player, nine as a vice captain or a captain. Davis Love III twice has been Ryder Cup captain and once the Presidents Cup captain. He’s been an assistant seven times. Fred Couples has been Presidents Cup captain three times, an assistant four times and has been a Ryder Cup assistant three times.
“They need to get rid of guys like Davis Love and probably Fred Couples and move on,” Love said last week. “I’m lobbying for it.”
So why does he keep coming back?
“I told a few people over at the Ryder Cup, I said, ‘Man, this is my last time.’ And they were like, ‘No, no, no.’ And I’m like: ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s time,’” Love said. “I told that to Tiger in 2019. I said, ‘I’m done.’ He said: ‘Yeah, you’re right, who do we think we ought to get, young guys.’ And then Stricker brought me right back in the next year.”
Love invited Webb Simpson to be an assistant in the 2022 Presidents Cup — Quail Hollow is Simpson’s home course. Furyk invited Matt Kuchar to join him in Paris.
“I haven’t paid attention to how the Europeans do it, and I’m not sure I really care,” Furyk said. “They have their own system and it’s worked.”
Furyk said he would expect “a new face or two” for Royal Montreal and “I really would like Stewart to be on that squad.”
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is returning to Hazeltine.
The announcement Tuesday extends a relationship with the Minneapolis-area club and the PGA of America. Hazeltine hosted the PGA Championship when Rich Beem beat Tiger Woods in 2002, and when Y.E. Yang took down Woods in 2009. It also hosted the Ryder Cup in 2016, an America victory. Hazeltine will host the Ryder Cup again in 2029.
Hannah Green won the Women’s PGA at Hazeltine in 2019, becoming only the third player to go wire-to-wire.
“Hazeltine has proven to be an elite host site that attracts spectators from across the country as well as Canada to our championships,” said PGA of America president John Lindert.
The PGA of America got involved in the LPGA major in 2015 and has taken it to some of the top courses, such as Aronimink, Congressional, Baltusrol and Atlanta Athletic Club, all previously having hosted men’s majors. It will be held next year at Sahalee outside Seattle for the second time. Sahalee is where Vijay Singh won his first major in the 1998 PGA Championship.
RYDER CUP ATTRACTION
The numbers are coming in and they state the obvious: The Ryder Cup is kind of a big deal.
Officials says 271,191 spectators from 100 countries attended the matches at Marco Simone over six days. They said the 2,653 social media posts from Ryder Cup Europe, Ryder Cup USA and other social channels led to more than 600 million impressions and page views.
Social media channels amounted to 197.6 million views, and the channels picked up 500,000 new followers.
Ryder Cup Europe’s platforms showed a 117% increase over the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris.
The most important number, of course, was Europe getting 16½ points to win back the cup.
Kristen Gillman, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, was No. 13 on the Epson Tour money list and running out of holes in the final tournament of the year. Two holes later, she had an LPGA Tour card.
Gillman made an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and a 5-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole of the LPGA International. That gave her a tie for fourth and moved her to No. 10 on the money list to earn the 10th and final LPGA card for 2024.
Pebble Beach has its iconic three-course rotation on the Monterey Peninsula. The Dunhill Links Championship has a three-course rotation that includes two British Open venues in St. Andrews and Carnoustie.
A newcomer is the Sandbelt Invitational, which has been confirmed for the third straight year in Australia. Organized by the Geoff Ogilvy Foundation, it features a 72-hole tournament across four courses in the fabled sandbelt region.
It starts at Victoria Golf Club, moves to the South Course at Peninsula Kingswood, goes to Yarra Yarra for the third round and concludes on the East course at Royal Melbourne.
The tournament will be Dec. 11-14.
Along with being held on great courses, the Sandbelt Invitational features a mixed field of men and women, professionals and leading amateurs.
“We can’t thank our host clubs enough for their continued support of this tournament, which gives the opportunity for Australia’s new wave to learn from experienced players in the same way I, and so many others, were fortunate enough to do,” Ogilvy said.
The average age of the 30 players who earned PGA Tour cards for 2024 through the Korn Ferry is 30.3. Three of those players are in their 40s. … Henrik Norlander now has lost twice in five-man playoffs on the PGA Tour. The other was at Sea Island in 2016. Norlander did win a five-way playoff on the Korn Ferry Tour. … Max Homa will be joining Justin Thomas among PGA Tour players going to South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge. … Xiyu Lin is the only player in the top 20 of the women’s world ranking who has yet to win on the LPGA Tour. She is coming off a victory in the Aramco Team Series in Hong Kong on the Ladies European Tour and is in the field for the Buick LPGA Shanghai, the first LPGA event in her home country since 2019.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Luke List went 46 tournaments without a top 10 between his first PGA Tour victory at Torrey Pines in 2022 and his second PGA Tour title in Mississippi.
“It’s a 72-hole tournament every single week, and it really doesn’t matter what happens until the final scores get posted on Sunday.” — Ben Griffin, who lost a three-shot lead in the final round and lost in a five-way playoff at the Sanderson Farms Championship.