IMONS, SAINT GEORGIA’S ISLAND , Davis Love III may be the captain of Team USA for the 2022 Presidents Cup, but he admits that he wasn’t the first pick for the job.
Tiger Woods, who led the American team to a dramatic comeback in 2019 at Royal Melbourne in Australia, was the other guy. What role will he play at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, next fall?
“If Tiger had stayed on as captain, it would have been a fantastic captaincy,” Love remarked. “At the time, he said, ‘No, I’m playing really well, I’m going to make the team, and I enjoyed being the captain of Australia, but I want to be a player on the team.’ As a result, his role is whatever he wants it to be. Tiger’s responsibility is to call me up and say, “Hey, you’re tossed out, I’m taking over.” If he wants to be an assistant, I hope he comes back and starts playing so that he may achieve his objective of being on the squad. He was an important element of our Ryder Cup team.”
Those discussions over Woods’ captaincy role took place before he was involved in a vehicle accident in February, which has kept him out of action ever since. Woods served as an unofficial advisor during the Ryder Cup in September.
“It took a long time to get him to the point where he was willing to interact,” Love added. “He had a slow start to the year, but after we got him up to speed, he was a huge assist and a lot of fun for the Ryder Cup and the team.” Definitely, the boys were going to see him down in south Florida all summer, but he obviously held a watch party at his house coming up to the Ryder Cup. He’s free to do whatever he wants, and I’m sure he’ll be a significant part of it.”
Love stated that he and the rest of Team USA’s leadership had learnt a lot about why he has been able to beat them for so many years.
“Tiger moved from being a guy we didn’t know to now being a leader and an inside guy,” Love explained. “He has fantastic information on some of the players we don’t know.” “In captains’ picks, he was quite helpful.” He was really helpful in strategy and pairings for me in 2016 and later as an assistant captain. He’s a tactician, and he watches a lot more golf than I do, so he knows a lot.
“What amazes me about him, Phil, and Jack Nicklaus is their remarkable memory of events from the past.” ‘Yeah, I played in the Ryder Cup in 1997,’ I’ll say. That happened in Valderrama.’ Every shot Tiger and Phil recall, as well as what everyone else did.”
Love described how Woods, who was acting as an assistant at Hazeltine at the time, helped him be more decisive when it came to submitting his pairings during his triumphant captaincy at the 2016 Ryder Cup.
“One of Tiger’s best qualities is that he’ll ask, ‘Would you please make a decision?’ “That’s fantastic for me,” Love exclaimed. “Stop waffling around, you know what you want to do, so let’s make a decision and stick to it.”