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THE RYDER CUP MEDIA CONFERENCE
January 20, 2011
JULIUS MASON: It's my pleasure to introduce the general chairman of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Mr. Don Larson.
DON LARSON: Thank you, Julius. On behalf of Medinah Country Club, it's my honor and pleasure to welcome you all here today. The anticipation, the enthusiasm and the excitement is building, and we are still many, many months away. With the ongoing support of the State of Illinois, the Chicagoland area and DuPage County, we are ready to bring the world to Medinah Country Club.
Medinah Country Club has hosted many, many major championships, U.S. Senior Opens, U.S. Opens, PGAs and now The Ryder Cup. Our golf course has stood the test of time. We have produced many, many great champions. Now, we are ready to welcome the world to Medinah Country Club to present to you The Ryder Cup. Thank you very much.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, Don. Now, ladies and gentlemen, from the Hillendale Country Club in Phoenix, Maryland, please welcome the 37th president of the PGA of America, Mr. Allen Wronowski. Allen?
ALLEN WRONOWSKI: Thank you, Julius, and it's my privilege to welcome you on behalf of the 270,00 men and women professionals of The PGA of America to the ultimate spectacle in golf. As we celebrate our 95th anniversary this year, we are most proud to also edge closer to having The Ryder Cup make its first visit to Illinois, and to one of the world's best facilities and golf courses.
Just a little over three months ago, we experienced an incredible week in Wales, one that was filled with amazing performances. The Ryder Cup brings out the best in players, increases the decibel level in galleries and delivers some of the most memorable performances in golf. The reality is that the cheers that closed on Monday afternoon in Wales translated into the Ryder Cup trophy once again resting on foreign soil.
Today we have an announcement that points the compass to the next Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is an event that demands both an experienced and strong leader. And we found that individual. He is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina and now calls Sea Island, Georgia his home. He is the son of one of the most renowned PGA teaching professionals of our generation. He turned professional in 1985 and today becomes the 27th individual is to be chosen U.S. captain since The Ryder Cup began in 1927 in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has exemplified enthusiasm for such a job first by competing on six Ryder Cup teams beginning with our last unit to win in Europe in 1993 and followed by teams in 1995.
'97, '99, 2002, and 2004.
In fact, he has been one of the most focused American competitors in memory at The Ryder Cup. He served as an assistant captain last October in Wales. His playing record featuring 31 worldwide victories includes a dramatic win in the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club. His competitiveness and passion for the game, particularly The Ryder Cup, makes him the consummate captain to guide our next American Team.
We gave him one mission and one mission only: To bring The Ryder Cup back to American soil. It's a pleasure to introduce you to the man, who will guide the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Team at Medinah Country Club, Davis Love III.
DAVIS LOVE III: Thank you. Thank you very much, and Allen, since this has been such a well-kept secret, as so many fans are waiting, I'm going to go ahead and Tweet the news that I'm going to be The Ryder Cup captain, so I'll go ahead and get that out of the way and off the table.
I am thrilled and honored to be here at Medinah Country Club to be here talking about the 2012 Ryder Cup. It is a long way away, but we've been talking about this for a long time. I've been thinking about this, Robin and I have talked a lot over the last few Ryder Cups that we've been involved in, and especially at Wales, about having this opportunity. We are thrilled to have it. We are excited to be a part of The Ryder Cup once again.
It's one of the great honors in golf to make one Ryder Cup Team; it would make your career. To make a few of them is a blessing and to get to be an assistant captain, I thought was one of the highlights of my career. To be a part of a team from the inside and watch the players play, it's going to be an even bigger thrill for us to lead a team; to watch our team, the United States Team, try to win The Ryder Cup back here in Medinah.
And what a great facility, when a great golf course, what a great town with a passion for sports, with a passion for golf. I don't think we could ask for a better home-field advantage than Chicago and Medinah Country Club. So I think all things are coming together to make this one of the best Ryder Cups in history. I know the whole Love family, everybody that's supported me, you're going to putt everything we can into making this the best experience for the players, the best experience for the fans, do everything we can to help Medinah Country Club. As Allen said, the No. 1 mission is to get the cup back and we look forward to working on that the next year and a half.
We have already been in there talking about golf course setup even though it's blanketed in snow. But obviously this course has stood the test of time in major championships, and all different kinds of play. Obviously match play is a different kind of challenge. And golf course setup is going to be important to that. We want some risk/reward holes more in match play probably than you would in a major championship.
Obviously the American side is aggressive, long-hitting; we like to make birdies, so I think we'll try to lean towards that. But you know, obviously the other side of the lake will probably see a lot of the finishing -- we hope we are winning matches on 15, 16 and not coming down 17 and 18.
But you know, the key holes obviously are a wide variety of par 3s, a lot of flexibility on the par 5s, but we are going to have a strong, powerful team, and we are going to want to be playing aggressively, and I think this course sets up well for us.
Q. You said you've been looking forward to this day for a long time. When you were on those either teams, did you find yourself perhaps studying what the captains went through, and what kind of things did you pick up along the way that you hope to implement this year, next year?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, the first couple of Ryder Cups you're just trying to not be too nervous and try to play. And then once we did three or four of them, Robin and I started taking a little more care in watching what was going on, learning how The Ryder Cup ran, and Corey Pavin did me an incredible service by, one, asking me to help him, and two, preparing me for the chance to be The Ryder Cup Captain. Seeing it from the inside, watching how much hard work he put into it and his whole team, we learned a lot.
What I learned is, is that I need to go back to all of my former captains. Whether they were winning captains or not, they all did a great job in running their Ryder Cup. And I'm going to take little things from each one of them, things that I like, things that the players liked.
But my main mission is to get my players prepared to play on Friday morning like they do every other week during the year. I think the only thing we have been missing is a little bit of getting over the hump of being nervous playing on the world's biggest stage.
I think if there's any problem the American Team has ever had in the seven Ryder Cups I've been involved in, is that we just try too hard. I know that's an over simplification, but you put together a game plan and you go try to execute it, that's what we are going to try to do and try to get our players as relaxed and as freed up as they can on Friday to Sunday.
Q. How would you describe your leadership style? Any particular leaders you followed or any books you like to read on the subject?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, again, we are a year and a half out, so I'd better come up with a leadership style. I think the players have known me for a long time. There's a lot of players obviously that will be on this 2012 team that I have competed with for a long time, and we have played on a lot of teams together. I think that's what I realized watching, starting with Tom Watson as my first captain. He had Raymond Floyd and Curtis Strange and Tom Kite and Lanny Wadkins and players like that that he knew and trusted that were playing for him.
I'll have that luxury. But the players, they know me, I've been on the board of the PGA TOUR. This is my 4th term, I've been involved in the business and the inside of the PGA TOUR. I think they know that I'm very traditional in my views of golf and of life and that I'm going to be very supportive, easygoing, but very focused captain.
I'm a players' captain, if you can term it that way. I'm going to try to give them what they need to be successful, and then obviously I'm not going to tell the best players in the world how to play golf. I'm not going to read their putts. I'm going to stay out of their way and let them show their talents, and I think a good leader knows he's got a great team and just gets them prepared and let's them go play.
Q. You've been in enough Ryder Cups, what makes a good Ryder Cup venue, and do you think Medinah has those qualities?
DAVIS LOVE III: When we pulled up this morning, the impressive clubhouse, the great golf course, the history and tradition, we have got a golf course that has stood the test of major championships. There's a reason why this club, this course, this town was selected. It's a great venue for major championship golf, and if there's a biggest golf sporting event in the world, it's the Ryder Cup and what a better place to hold it. Plenty of room.
So many things going into making this a perfect venue. But I think the biggest thing we are going to have is the membership support. We have great, huge, golf passionate membership here at this club, and includes the Chicago sports fans. We just grab some of this Bears momentum and energy. I don't think we could have a better home-field advantage.
Obviously when we travel, The Ryder Cup, whether it's in Wales or whether it's in Scotland or England, it's tough for us to travel over there and play against their home crowd. We feel like we are going into in at a point disadvantage maybe right from the beginning just because of the home field. I think we are going to have definitely a home-field advantage here. We look forward to showing the Chicago fans and the world a great Ryder Cup.
Q. Would you consider Jeff Sluman or Chip Beck to be vice captains?
DAVIS LOVE III: Again, a year and a half out, there's a lot of names floating around in my head. Jeff Sluman and I had a wonderful time as assistant captains for Corey Pavin. Jeff has already given me two full pages of notes that we collected over in Wales. Jeff has always been a close friend and an advisor to me.
I'm going to go back over Ryder Cup players that I've played with, Ryder Cup Captains that I've played for, and get as much advice as I can.
One thing I've learned, in my 25 years on the tour and in business, you've got to find the smart people and put them in the right positions to be successful, and I will have vice captains and staff back at home at Sea Island that are going to be advising me and supporting me. Because I know that I can't handle this job by myself, and without Robin's support and the rest of our team, we won't be successful.
So I'm going to putt the right people in the right positions and rely on certainly people like Jeff Sluman and friend of mine in the past that have been a big part of Ryder Cups.
Q. Can you just talk about Joel Jose air two days ago named the European captain, and you two are no strangers to one another in The Ryder Cup. What do you think he brings to his team and can you talk about the challenge ahead?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's interesting that we both came out on our respective tours at the same time; that my first three Ryder Cup Matches were against JosÃ© Maria and Seve Ballesteros, which is quite an introduction to The Ryder Cup. Tom Kite and I were scheduled to play four matches for Tom Watson. And after we drew Seve and JosÃ© for the third straight time, he said, "You're going to get an afternoon off. No matter what happens, you guys are getting beat up pretty bad." We were fortunate to get just one match from that duo.
JosÃ© Maria and I go way back. We have competed against each other. We have shared a lot of trials and tribulations through our careers together. He has been a good friend for someone that plays The European Tour and that I don't see that much. He's always been respectful and supportive of my career. I look forward to competing against him, to us leading our teams together, because the next year and a half is really going to be about he and I sitting up here talking and until the matches start, it's going to be me against him, which it will not be in our minds, but I think in the public, it will be the two of us battling it out for the who gets the most captain's picks or who get the most radios and who sets the golf course up.
I'll tell you one of my great stories about him is when I finished second to him in the Masters. At the past Champions Dinner the next year he brought some special Spanish wine to serve to all of the past champions for the past champions dinner and they had left overs and he gave it to me. So I'll always remember his generosity, his remembering that he actually holed a couple of putts coming down the stretch that knocked me out of winning a Masters.
He's always been a good friend. It will be a tough competition. I know Thursday at the Opening Ceremonies, we'll be friends and Sunday night when we get done we'll still be friends. He's a great competitor and a great friend and it's going to be a lot of fun.
Q. I would like to ask you, your dad being a consummate PGA professional, how proud do you think your dad would be of you being named captain?
DAVIS LOVE III: That's a good question since I almost started crying on the last one. Winning the PGA Championship was a thrill and as I've told Julius Mason several times, I'll go in and sit down at the press table and realizing I'm the son of a PGA member. Now to be named Ryder Cup Captain is a thrill that I never thought I would have (tearing up).
I would love to share that with my father and I know that somehow I am, and when Allen asked me if I would serve as a captain, I had the same reaction.
I'm thrilled. I'm thrilled to represent The PGA of America. Thrilled to represent all of the men and women PGA professionals. As we have said a lot of times, there's not a TOUR player out there that plays one TOUR event or plays six Ryder Cups that doesn't have a PGA professional that led them to that position.
So I thank all of the PGA professionals, including my dad. Thank you for that.
Q. Wondering if you've had time to think about the format, you have Azinger's system in there with eight automatics and four wild card picks, curious as to what your thoughts are there, retaining or tweaking or whatever your thoughts might be.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well I remember Jack Nicklaus being the captain of The Presidents Cup team and saying he was just going to go straight down the list to 12 and take the easy route out.
I would rather not have to make four captain's picks. I watched Corey do it, was an advisor on that. It was hard to just give advice to a captain on making four picks, but I think that will be one of the hardest things to do.
The hardest thing to do is going to be to tell the guys that didn't get picked that they didn't get picked. The responsibility of being a captain has a lot of tough things, a lot of decisions to be made and that will be a big one. I think the system has worked. I think obviously we changed the selection processes on both sides to get to our automatic qualifiers.
It always is a system with a world tour now with players playing all over the place, you have to make changes. But I think the system is fine. We identified eight great players and we had four great picks last time. Obviously all four picks played very well and hopefully I'll go back and ask Corey how he got to that point and all of the former captains I played for and get help with making those picks. Ultimately we just want the 12 players that are the most confident and playing the best when we get back here to Medinah in 2012.
Q. I guess now you would be leaning towards retaining the status quo?
DAVIS LOVE III: Obviously I could have a little influence but the system is at the time for 2012 and I would leave that to The PGA of America to answer.
Q. Let me ask you something, the way you're playing, it's certainly not an out of the question situation where you may play yourself onto the team. Have you given any thought to how you would handle that?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I've given a lot of thought to that, because I'm never going to give up my goal of making Ryder Cups, as long as I feel like I'm competitive on the TOUR.
I went out to Hawai'i last week thinking about making points on all of the lists that I need to move up on and trying to win golf tournaments. I think between JosÃ© Maria and myself, if one of us gets hot with the putter, we might make our own team.
But what I ultimately want is the 12 best players. And if I'm one of the best eight come the PGA Championship in 2012, then I'm going to want to play, because I don't want to leave a guy off the team that might help us win, and if that's me, great. If not, you know, I certainly would have a tough time picking myself. That wouldn't look very good. (Laughter).
We tried to convince Tom Kite in '97 to pick himself, and if I had not have won the PGA Championship, he may have made the team because he was playing very well that week. If I would have been the captain in '97, I would have picked Tom Kite. It would be hard unless we had a mute any on the team and they insisted I played, but I doubt that would happen.
But I would love to make the team. We'll cross that bridge, if we get to it, but The PGA of America, I've watched them. They can run The Ryder Cup without Davis Love III for sure, and if we had good assistants and I'm playing great, that would be a great story for our team and for golf, as long as I get three or four points out of the deal.
Q. It just seems like there's so many details involved income a Ryder Cup Captain, especially we saw last year what happened with, for instance, if the rain suits don't exactly work correctly. Is that something you've learned? What do you know as far as what exactly is involved as far as everything that you need to do to be an effective captain?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, every time I think of a question like that, I think a year and a half, we've got some time. Again, you know, the whole team that I have worked with for a long time since -- really, since even '91 Ryder Cup, that I didn't make the team, I at least knew what was going on and saw the inside of it. Got fitted for clothes to play practice rounds at the course even though I didn't make the team.
I have been around the team of Julius Mason, Susan Martin, Kerry Haigh, The PGA of America, I've been around long enough to know that they have a handle on those kind of things and Robin and I are going to have some influence and decisions to make.
But again, it's going to come down to, I'm going to putt the best players in the world with the best equipment I can get, and give them the best chance they can to win. And if that means that Bob Rotella is riding in the golf cart with me in case a guy needs him or Dr. Morris Pickens, Jack Lumpkin as a swing coach, whoever we need out here, trainers, great golf bags, whatever, we are going to have everything we can to give this team the confidence that they have when they go to the PGA Championship a month before, I want them to have everything they had there that got them prepared to play in the PGA.
I want them to have that for The Ryder Cup and have it not be too much of a different experience; that they are comfortable, they look good and they are happy and ready to play.
Q. You knew you would get one Michael Jordan question. Have you been in touch with him since the news came out and would you like to get him involved should you?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, the secret just came out this morning. (Laughter) and I'm sure he's somewhere warm playing golf and having a big cigar.
He's become a great part of The Ryder Cup, and that's how big The Ryder Cup is; that one of the most-recognized people in the world and the most-recognized athletes in the world makes sure he's at every Ryder Cup. You see the stories of people that travel for Super Bowls or travel for Ryder Cups, and to have Michael Jordan coming to watch, we have had him in the team rooms.
One of my great thrills was watching Justin Leonard come back and win that match in '99 at Brookline. One of the funniest things that happened that day was that I walked up towards the 17th green and Michael was standing under a tree inside the ropes, I don't know how he did it, under a tree, about 40 yards from the green and I looked at him and I go, "I can't even talk to you," and he just kept on going.
To have him at Valderrama and so many places and have his support has been great. I know we'll at least get some great course knowledge because he's played this course more than anybody on the team. It will be fun to get support from him and so many -- there's a lot of great sports, as I said before, sports passion and sports history here and great Hall of Fame athletes that are members of this club.
You know, we would not have to go outside this club or outside Chicago to get motivational speeches to get our team fired up. Look forward to all kind of fun things like that during the week of The Ryder Cup.
Q. I know it's a year and a half down the road but is there any advantage at all to the fact that you're a full-time TOUR player and the interaction you're going to be able to have with potential picks, as opposed to Corey, he was splitting time on the Champions Tour and was mainly relying on his assistants to give him reports. You're going to be able to talk to the actual guys that you're considering?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, it's a very good point. That's why The PGA of America likes to have their captain at least current with his players. You know, Corey knew that he was -- maybe not when he was selected captain, but during his captaincy year, he was going to miss seeing some of the younger guys. There was a reason why he chose Paul Goydos and I. It wasn't because we were his best friends and he wanted to have his best friends with him and to hang out at The Ryder Cup.
He knew that we would play that full season with all of the players, the Jeff Overtons and the Rickie Fowlers and the guys that may or may not make the team that he didn't know. It was an advantage to him; he was doing it out of what he knew he needed from his four guys. He had a former captain which was very smart. You know, it took a lot for Tom Lehman to go from a player to a captain and then back to an assistant captain. Corey was very smart. That is going to be a big part of it.
I was in Hawai'i and I saw about 30 faces that you've never seen before. And you never know, Rickie Fowler was that face at the beginning of 2010 that not a whole lot of people knew who he was and what he was all about, and by the time we got to making his selection for the 2010 team, we knew Rickie Fowler and knew we needed him on the team and knew he was going to make some putts for us.
That's where I'll have an advantage. I'll be able to play with, watch those guys play over the next year and a half, and I'll have a pretty good handle on these fresh new faces.
Q. Revisiting being a playing captain, if you qualify in points in the top eight, you will play, and can you talk about, can we do in a in a modern Ryder Cup and make it smooth?
DAVIS LOVE III: I said if I don't make it on points, you don't need to be picking me. If I'm not 100 percent healthy and I'm not on top of my game. And he stuck around and watched me play the last couple of tournaments, and he saw that for himself that I was not on top of my game and I didn't make it on points, and even though I was close, he didn't pick me and that's where I would be. If I'm healthy and make the team on points, then I would deserve a shot at playing and I would have I think the experience to play.
Now would it mean that Julius and I would have a lot of conversations the last couple of weeks about how we are going to handle it? Yeah, the responsibilities would have to shift and maybe I would play once a day and turn my radio in.
But it would be a nice problem to have, let's put it that way. But you know, obviously my focus right now is little details and all of the questions I've been getting; how are we going to get organized to get whoever the 12 players are, to get them ready to win the Ryder Cup back. If I can be a part of that on or off the golf course, that's the ultimate goal is getting the Cup back. And we need 12 committed players that are ready to go come 2012.
Q. That emotion you just showed, is this going to be a trait that you put as a template, that they have got to be like me, with that fire in their belly, for your picks?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think I've seen, you know, a few captains make their picks. You want guys that can handle the pressure, that really are working hard to make the team and are passionate about it. I don't think we have that problem on the TOUR anymore. Everybody wants to be on The Ryder Cup Team. Everybody wants to be a part of it. I can't tell you the number of stories I hear from players that are playing the week opposite The Ryder Cup or sitting at home and how much they enjoy just watching it.
They want to play. But you know, ultimately, I want guys on my team that are putting well, are playing well. I'm going to watch guys down the last few weeks and really pick a hot putter. There is a reason why Rickie Fowler was on that team, why Zach Johnson was on that team, why Tiger Woods. Because we knew under pressure, those guys can put.
You go over to Wales, we wanted guys that we knew in the trenches could make putts for us coming down the stretch. It doesn't always work out. There's always guys that miss putts, and point fingers, but when you pick Curtis Strange as a captain's selection or you pick Tiger Woods as a captain selection or Zach Johnson, you're picking a guy with past experience that you have confidence in to put him out there in the last match and make a putt for you.
I've never been so thrilled in a Ryder Cup to stand on that 18th being green and watch Rickie Fowler make that putt. That was incredible for him and incredible for us and it almost worked out. We almost came back and won that and it was almost a Brookline-type finish and that was thrilling for us, thrilling for Rickie, for us to stand on the side and watch him do that. And we are going to pick guys like that that want to be -- they want to have the ball and want to putt that putt on the last hole.
Ever since '93, I wanted to do that. I wanted to be the guy that was out there with all of the pressure, and I'm going to pick guys like that that don't shy away from it.
Q. I said to Corey when we were in New York, were they going to take on that personality of the bulldog, I can hear in that same kind of way; are you hoping to get guys who really, really want it at the moment?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, that's what we want. I think again, go back to Rickie Fowler or Zach Johnson, whoever you want to name, we put guys out there that we have confidence in; that want to be in that situation.
You know, there's guys that want to be the first match out on Sunday because they want to get off to a fast start and there's guys that want to be the last match out. But there's guys that say, wherever you think the last point is going to come, that's where I want to be.
Fortunately, we have got a lot of guys now on the American side that want that. They want that experience. They want to be on that stage. I think we are real lucky. We are at a great time. I'm looking forward to identifying those guys over the next year and a half.
Q. Everybody wants the captain to be sort of a combination of Bob Hope and Lee Trevino and George Paton. I said, "Not to worry, you've got him." Can you please confirm? (Laughter).
DAVIS LOVE III: I didn't hear some -- did you hear that, Julius? Repeat that?
Q. Everybody wants the captain to be a combination of Bob Hope and Lee Trevino and George Paton and I said, "Not to worry, you've got him." Can you please confirm that?
DAVIS LOVE III: (Laughing). I just spent a day filming commercials with Lee Trevino. I'm not in his category. He's quite funny and fun to be around and very smart.
So I hope I have a little bit of each one of those, but again, what I've learned is take the best from a guy like Lee Trevino, you take the best from Tom Watson and Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw, the things that I've seen over the years, experiences, and put them all together and try to mold your team and try to give them the best chance they can to win.
You know, I'm not going to say that I'm the smartest guy and that I'm the best leader, but I've been around a lot of great leaders and a lot of great champions and I've seen what it takes. I've seen great players win and lose Ryder Cups, and I think that experience will help me get us through.
Q. With the young players on the team last year, we are seeing a transition with more young players evolving. How do you think that will effect the makeup?
DAVIS LOVE III: If we go back to the Corey Pavin announcement, when he was named captain, I don't think he could have predicted that Rickie Fowler would be a captain's selection and would make an exciting charge on Sunday to help us almost win the Cup back.
So it's hard to predict who will be -- I know there will be some veterans and I can't tell you if it's going to be Tiger, Phil, Jim Furyk or if it's going to be Justin Leonard, Zach Johnson, Stewart Cink. But I know we will have a core of veterans that have played Ryder Cups before and we will have some rookies.
We'll have some fresh faces. There will be some players of the 12 that will have an incredible year and make the team and there will be some rookies that will be looked at to be picked. That's the way it's been in all of the past Ryder Cups. There was Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and then there were some young guys named Crenshaw and Kite that nobody really had ever heard of, and so it will always be that way.
I look forward to not only being the captain for guys that have done it a bunch and that I can rely on but being the captain for a guy who might play one Ryder Cup, and he might be a young guy and only play one. And I want each one of them to have the ultimate Ryder Cup experience like I've been given six times as a player and one time as an assistant, and that's going to be my focus.
I know there are going to be some guys that we might not even can come up with their names right now that might make the team. Because there is a lot of youth now on the TOUR. I saw it in Hawai'i. Robin and I have seen it a lot. We don't know who these guys are a lot of times. You never know. You never know who it's going to be. So we are looking forward to identifying those guys.
Q. Here is a question I bet you have not thought of. Julius might be able to help you out on this one. Does the host captain have the option for setting the format for the morning on day one and day two, and if so, would you ever consider having a morning format as the foursomes matches?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think it did switch in Valhalla. I don't know if that's Allen's decision to ask me or my decision to ask Allen.
But you know, either way, we are going to play both of them. And we tend to, you know, some year, everybody thinks we are better at foursomes than fourballs and it goes back and forth. I think ultimately, it's not really the format. It's the combinations of the players and the comfort they have with each other.
That's, again, with a year and a half out, there's a lot of strategy like that. I don't think we can set the golf course up, set the format up, to really give us that big of an advantage. I think our advantage is going to be that we know Medinah Country Club. We have the passion and the support of the home fans.
I think that's going to be our biggest edge and not really, you know, which format we play first who, goes off first. I think it's all going to come down to capturing the energy of the excitement of this event and then going out and be relaxed in front of that big, passionate crowd.
Q. Ultimately, Ryder Cup Captains get too much credit and too much blame; do you think so?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yes. I'll never forget sitting besides Lanny Wadkins when they had a closing dinner for The Ryder Cups on Sunday night, and we all had to sit down and watch one team -- one team had to watch the other team celebrate over dinner, and never forget sitting beside Lanny, and he didn't eat. He had his head hanging down and I thought, I watched Lanny do an incredible job as a captain. He put more passion and effort into it. It was the thrill of his life. And then to lose, and he didn't do one thing wrong.
And it all comes down to golf. And we all know that golf is a fickle game. It's not a fair game. You can play your best and still not win. You can get bad bounces, and it ultimately comes down to a putt here or a putt there or a shot here or a shot there.
I still go back to the second hole at Detroit playing with Chad Campbell, I hit a bad iron shot and I think it cost us The Ryder Cup. Didn't have anything to do with Tiger and Phil. Didn't have anything to do with what happened on Sunday. Didn't have anything to do with me and Darren Clarke in the singles. It was I hit a crappy iron shot on the second hole of the competition and we got behind, and we never had a chance after that. It just seemed like we were behind the 8-ball.
And everybody that has played a Ryder Cup says, if it was only for my half a point, we would have won. And I think that's what it's going to come down to, is it's going to come down to, you know, just one guy making one putt or hitting one good shot, and grabbing the momentum.
Q. You're probably tired of golf questions; who is going to win the Bears game?
DAVIS LOVE III: Unfortunately my Falcons are out. I would love to grab the Bears momentum and passion. I hope they go all the way to the Super Bowl and then we get all of those fans here in 2012 to support the team. We couldn't be, again, couldn't be more thrilled to have Chicago golf and sports fans behind the 2012 Ryder Cup Team. I may have to get Coach Ditka to help me with motivational speeches.
JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us today.
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