Golf: Jim Furyk named US Ryder Cup captain

United States Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk. Photo / Getty
United States Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk. Photo / Getty

Jim Furyk could lead the United States' attempts to defend the Ryder Cup in France next year as both captain and player.

The 46-year-old will skipper the team in Paris in 2018, having been named as Davis Love's successor by the PGA of America.

But the world No.1 37 could also still have a playing role, having refused to rule out the possibility of qualifying for his own team.

That would make Furyk, a veteran of nine appearances in the Ryder Cup, the first playing captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963 - although he insists he has not given that matter much thought.

Speaking at his unveiling in Florida, he said: "I don't want to say no but my main focus is on being a captain.

"If I was able to be successful next year and got myself in that mix, that's something we can talk about then, but it's really putting the cart before the horse.

"Quite honestly it is the furthest thing from my mind right now. Right now I'm excited about being the captain in 2018."

Furyk will pit his wits against Thomas Bjorn, who was named as Europe's captain last month, at Le Golf National.

One of his first actions as captain was to announce, in a role reversal from Hazeltine last year, that Love will serve as one of his vice-captains.

Furyk, who was also seriously considered as a wildcard pick by Love in Minnesota, said: "Davis is going to be a very tough act to follow. He put a system in place and got the players behind it.

"He's a good friend, someone I have looked up to and admired through the years, someone every young professional could model themselves on. To have him by side is going to be priceless for me."

Fred Couples was also thought to be in contention for the role but Furyk was the preferred choice of the US Ryder Cup committee, which included Love as well at Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Furyk said: "It's no secret, it's been my favourite event my entire career. In my opinion the Ryder Cup embodies everything that is special about golf.

"I just get chills thinking about all the events I've been able to participate in and now to sit here as the captain for 2018 is such an honour."

Despite Furyk's vast playing experience in the event, he has actually only finished on the winning side twice as a player, in 1999 and 2008.

"We haven't won on foreign soil since 1993. We have got our work cut out but I am really excited about rolling up my sleeves and getting started," Furyk said.

- AAP

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