PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS INSIDER
Furyk, Els, Clarke to serve as captains of new 50+ team event
March 16, 2021
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- March 16, 2021
- Furyk will captain Team USA, Els will captain Team World and Clarke will captain Team Europe
Golf is a uniquely individual sport.
There are no backups ready to sub in if a player is having a bad day or gets hurt. There are no timeouts.
This is part of why team competitions in golf are so interesting. It takes each player somewhat out of his element. He has to think a little differently than he might otherwise.
With that in mind, PGA TOUR Champions and sports marketing firm Intersport will partner for the World Champions Cup, an annual Ryder Cup-like event that will be added to the PGA TOUR Champions schedule in fall 2022. It will feature three teams -- Team USA, Team Europe and Team World -- comprised of six players each. The three-day match play competition will be held at one of America’s great golf courses and will be contested across twice-daily nine-hole matches featuring team formats and singles play, with points being earned for each hole won in each match. Every match will go the full nine holes. When the three-day competition concludes, the team with the highest point total across all matches will be crowned the champion.
“We are excited to add this global event to the golf calendar starting in 2022 and are appreciative of Intersport’s passion to begin a new world-wide golf tradition,” said Miller Brady, president of PGA TOUR Champions. “The World Champions Cup will give golf fans the opportunity to see the game’s greatest players come together in a team format on the world’s biggest stage. International team events are some of the most significant competitions in our game and it will be fun to see Ernie, Jim and Darren, along with their teammates, compete for the inaugural World Champions Cup next year.”
Yes, Ernie Els (Team World), Jim Furyk (Team USA) and Darren Clarke (Team Europe) already have signed up as captains. Already fans can see old rivalries being renewed among these three players with significant history in team competitions.
Throughout his career, Furyk has represented Team USA in seven Presidents Cups, nine Ryder Cups and served as a Ryder Cup captain in 2018.
“I am excited to lead Team USA and recapture the great global team championships I have been fortunate enough to enjoy during my career,” Furyk said. “For more than 20 years, I have been competing against Ernie and Darren, and I look forward to having the chance to captain Team USA and play against them in the World Champions Cup.”
The clear presumption is Furyk, Els and Clarke will be playing captains. And given the fact each has won on PGA TOUR Champions in the past 12 months, they should be.
What’s exciting to ponder is who could join each. Furyk would appear to be able to field the deepest team, with options such as Schwab Cup standings leader Kevin Sutherland, Phil Mickelson, 2021 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, five-time Ryder Cup team member Fred Couples and Scott Parel, the second-ranked American in the Schwab Cup standings.
Clarke certainly would turn first to PGA TOUR Champions dominant force for the past decade Bernhard Langer. He also could point to guys who were teammates of his in the Ryder Cup – Colin Montgomerie and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Other possibilities to round out the team include Robert Karlsson, Paul Broadhurst and members of the European Legends Tour.
Team World would look pretty strong itself behind Els. How about a lineup with Retief Goosen, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, K.J. Choi and Rod Pampling?
It has not been announced as yet how teams will be chosen. The venue for the first World Champions Cup also has yet to be revealed.