Jim Furyk will lead the United States Ryder Cup team later this year in Paris. and based on his comments on Monday, Furyk doesn’t want his team to resemble anything close to the squad that was routed in 2004.
That year, the U.S. team was throttled 18.5-9.5 on home soil. American captain Hal Sutton famously paired Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson together in the early matches. They were easily the best two players in the world at that time, but they lost both of their matches, and didn’t seem to enjoy themselves in the process.
Speaking on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive Monday morning, Furyk made it clear that he does not plan to make the same mistake this year.
“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing. I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”
The rivalry between Tiger and Phil has calmed in recent years as both players have become elder statesmen on Tour. Woods will be wearing red, white and blue in Paris this fall no matter what, as Furyk has chosen him to be one of his vice captains. Despite his poor Ryder Cup ranking (currently 39th), it’s hard to imagine Furyk not choosing Tiger to play on the team as long as he’s healthy.
Mickelson is currently ranked 10th (the top eight players earn automatic spots on the team), but his solid play of late and team-event experience mean he’s also likely to make the squad.
Just don’t expect him to play matches with Tiger as his partner.