Following a second-round 67, Davis Love III reflects on his play in the 2012 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Davis Love III is glad to be playing golf again.
“It distracts me for 4, 5 hours a day from thinking about last week,” the U.S. Ryder Cup captain said Friday from the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. “I've got a lot of great memories from last week, and when I get by myself I start second guessing and start wishing that we would’ve done something a little different and could've gotten those guys a win.”
The U.S. led 10-6 going into singles play at the Ryder Cup before a historic comeback by Europe to win 14 1/2-13 1/2. It matched the largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history.
Love’s four captain’s picks earned a total of just four combined points for the week. Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods went 0-3 as a team and the U.S. lost the first five singles matches out Sunday.
Nearly a week later, even Love can’t help but wonder what went wrong, and he’s not sure how long it will take him to get over it.
“A long time,” said Love, who is 7 under through two rounds in Las Vegas after a 67 on Friday. “I don't think it'll ever go away. It was a great team. They played great. They had some bad breaks on Sunday and some guys holed some putts on 'em and turned it over.
“Winning is what it's all about and we didn't win it.”
Prior to the 2012 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Davis Love III met with the media on Tuesday to talk about playing golf after the mental strain of coaching the Ryder Cup.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.com
MEDINAH, Ill. -- Phil Mickelson wasn't about to let his captain, Davis Love III, take the blame.
So when someone asked Love whether he would have done anything differently, then specifically mentioned sitting Mickelson and Keegan Bradley after the team had gone 3-0 in the first three sessions, the lefthander felt he had to step in.
"Hold on, Davis. Hold on one sec," Mickelson said, interrupting his long-time friend in mid-sentence.
"As far as playing Keegan and I, you need to hear something," Mickelson continued, looking out at a packed interview room. "Keegan and I knew going in that we were not playing in the afternoon, and we said on the first tee, we are going to put everything we have into this one match. …
"And when we got to 10, I went to Davis and I said, listen, you're seeing our best; you cannot put us in the afternoon, because we emotionally and mentally are not prepared for it. And I know you're going to get pressure, because we're playing so good.
“But we have other guys that are dying to get out there … so you need to stay to our plan. So you cannot put that on him; if anything, it was me, because I went to him at 10 and said that to him."
Love acknowledged there were those close to the team who thought maybe that strategy should change. So he rode out to the 10th hole to talk with Mickelson.
"Phil came running over and started yelling at me, we are putting the most effort into this, we are giving you our all and we are going to win this match and do not play me in the afternoon," Love recalled. "And I thought that was the funniest thing I had ever heard.
"He was really adamant that he did not think that they should play in the afternoon; that some of the other guys would have a lot more energy and would play well."
The decision was one of many tough calls Love said he had to make. Sitting Tiger Woods down for the first time in the former world No. 1's career was another but the U.S. Captain wanted the 14-time major winner fresh for the final Four-ball match and the all-important Singles.
"Would I have liked to have had everybody on our team play four matches the first two days? Yeah, because they were all playing really, really well," Love said.
Even so, Love said he's probably going to second guess himself for a long time. He knows some matches -- like Justin Rose's win over Mickelson and Ian Poulter's over Webb Simpson and Martin Kaymer's clinching win over Steve Stricker-- seemingly turned on a dime over the last three holes.
But that’s the Ryder Cup.
Love thought he had a solid plan on Sunday. The U.S. only needed 4 1/2 points in Singles to win the Cup. Granted, Love knew the 10-4 deficit wasn't insurmountable. After all, he was a member of the American team that staged that historic comeback at Brookline in 1999.
So he put the Americans who were playing best out first to
counter what he knew would be the top of Europe's roster. But Jose
Maria Olazabal's team simply played better and the Americans found
out how the other side felt that year.
"I'm sure there's a lot of great plans in a lot of sporting events that sound really good the night before, before the game starts, and then there's a fumble or a turnover or something happens and it doesn't work," Love said. "What didn't work today is they played a little bit better than us and got some momentum and made it tough. ...
"But when you end up with the power and the excitement that we had in those first groups, and we had what we felt like was the steady Eddie guys in the back, we thought it was a great lineup. Again, a few putts they made, a few putts we missed, and it would have been a huge difference."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MEDINAH, Ill. -- Davis Love III wants to win. That's a given. But he has repeatedly said he wants a friendly spirit to prevail in the Ryder Cup this week at Medinah.
So it wasn't surprising to learn on Tuesday that Love wanted to honor Seve Ballesteros, perhaps the greatest European Ryder Cupper ever, this week. The Spaniard died last year after battling brain cancer and this will be the first Ryder Cup since 1979 in which he hasn't played a role.
The Europeans unveiled golf bags with the silhouette of Ballesteros, who owns a 20-12-5 Ryder Cup record, celebrating his winning putt at the 1984 British Open at St. Andres. Love put that same iconic image on yardage books he gave to the members of the European Team and their caddies.
"Ours have a little saying in it in the top, but theirs has a silhouette of Seve in their yardage book," Love said.
In addition, the yardage books have half a Ryder Cup on them. So if the caddy matches his with his boss, the picture of the golden chalice is complete. The same goes if Love matches his with the one given to European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
"That's what it's all about is we respect them and they respect us, and come Friday morning to Sunday night, we are going to have a lot of fun competing," Love said. "And then as José said, then it goes right back to being friends."
Of course, Love plans for those friends to be celebrating in the U.S. team room that night.
"I don't know who is going to win, but I know on Sunday night, we're all going to be in the same room, and our room's real big, and it will probably be our room, and we'll be having fun," he said. "We might have more ... table tennis tables than them, so they might have to come over. That's the way it was in Wales, they were all over in our room celebrating.
"Obviously we hope that we have more champagne than them this time. But it's all in friendship, so there's nothing, nothing but good about Seve being on their bag."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Davis Love III has already won the Wyndham Championship twice.
Both of those victories came at Forest Oaks Country Club, though. If the 48-year-old is to win a third on Sunday, Love will have to master a course in Sedgefield that puts a premium on shot-making instead of the powerful drives he can unleash.
"It really doesn't (suit me)," Love acknowledged. "Kind of like
a lot of short, tight courses. I hit a lot of 2-irons off the tee
and just try to get it in the fairway but it's tricky and I've done
well at courses like Hilton Head and Colonial.
"I can get it around here but it's certainly not my style but I'm enjoying playing, The new greens are great -- hit good putts, they go in and I've been, like I said, I've been real close to shooting a low score every day."
Love fired his second-straight 66 on Saturday that could have been lower had he not turned a potential birdie hole into a double bogey when he hit his 8-iron at the seventh hole into the creek beside the green. That was the only blemish in a round that moved him to 11 under and within three strokes of the lead.
So can the wildly popular North Carolina product snap a victory drought of nearly four years on Sunday?
"Yeah, if I quit making silly mistakes," the U.S. Ryder Cup captain said. "I played real well this week and punished myself a couple times with silly mistakes or I'd be right there. Scores are going to be low. I just have to keep shooting low.”
Watch Sam Snead's domination, Davis Love III's two wins, Brandt Snedeker's win in 2007, Ryan Moore clutch victory in 2009 and Arjun Atwal's 2010 win as a Monday qualifier.
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the Wyndham Championship below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
|Webb Simpson vs. Bill Haas||Wake Forest alums do battle in their home state|
|Carl Pettersson vs. Ryan Moore||Two past Wyndham champs ready for more at Sedgefield|
|Davis Love III vs. Jason Dufner||Ryder Cup Captain keeps close eye on Ryder Cup rookie|
|Sergio Garcia vs. Trevor Immelman||Two international stars are looking to kick-start their season|
|Jhonattan Vegas vs. Brendan Steele||Both need a big week to get into the FedExCup Playoffs|