Thursday, June 28, 2012
Love names Couples and Hulbert as Ryder Cup assistants
(Reuters) - U.S. captain Davis Love III appointed good friends Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert on Wednesday as his assistants for this year's Ryder Cup against Europe.
Former Masters champion Couples, 52, is a veteran of five Ryder Cups as a player and has twice captained the U.S. to victory over the Internationals in the similar-style Presidents Cup.
Hulbert, 54, served as assistant to 2002 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange but has never represented his country in the biennial team competition.
"Mike Holbert has been a long-time friend of mine and Fred Couples is on a roll with the Presidents Cup and has gotten to know the team a lot," Love told a news conference ahead of this week's AT&T National in Bethesda, Maryland.
"I've talked to Fred a lot since he's done so well the last couple years with the Presidents Cup team...gotten a lot of advice from him, been surprised at his level of detail.
"We will face great challenges this September and I'm very pleased that they have agreed to join me. They are guys that I have played a lot of golf with, and two guys that other players like to be around and work with."
The 2012 Ryder Cup will take place at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago from September 28-30 when Europe will defend the trophy they won by 14-1/2 points to 13-1/2 at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010.
Love, who competed in six Ryder Cups as a player, also announced that the order of play for this year's edition would begin with foursomes (alternate shot) matches on each of the first two days.
"We'll go with the alternate-shot format first in the mornings on Friday and Saturday," he said. "We feel like with our team, the way it's shaping up, the way it's played in the past, that's a good thing for us to do right off the bat.
"Across the board, the players that I've talked to were either for it or heavily for it. We have a lot of confidence that we're better at that format than people think we are.
"And it'll give us more flexibility for having to make pairings in the afternoon for best ball (fourball matches)."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in San Jose; Editing by Clare Fallon)