U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III is beginning to refine his preparations, with the biennial competition just seven months away.
While he has spoken with some highly ranked players individually about potential team-building activities – namely Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson – Love will have a chance to cast a wider net later this month when he holds the first of multiple team dinners at the Honda Classic.
“We’re going to have a dinner during the week of Honda, and then we’re probably [going to] have two or three more,” Love said Wednesday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “We’re going to ask Zach and Jordan, ‘All right, what do you want to do? Do you want to go to dinner, do you want to play golf, do you want to go fishing? What can we do for team building?’”
Love admitted that he is keeping a more watchful eye on the points list than he did when he captained the squad at Medinah in 2012. He is hoping to have up to 20 players at the dinner in South Florida, meaning he expects invites could be extended as far down as 40th on the current U.S. points list.
“I’m going to be a little bit more focused this time on the start at the top, work my way through the points list and make sure that we’ve got everybody covered,” Love said. “Not wait until the Memorial Tournament when we have a clothes fitting to talk to the guys for the first time.”
Love added that while he has gleaned perspective and opinions from vice captains Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, he remains unsure if either will be available as a potential playing option as both continue to recover from recent surgeries.
“[Furyk] and Tiger, we’re waiting for them to come back and get to plan and hopefully be healthy,” Love said. “But the great thing is, I’ve got them either way. I would rather them be playing and healthy and happy. I know they’re both very frustrated with the last four or five months, but they’re still excited about the Ryder Cup.”