Captain Furyk: 'We have 25 years of scars to overcome'

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Captain Furyk: 'We have 25 years of scars to overcome'

PGA Tour

Captain Furyk: 'We have 25 years of scars to overcome'

PARIS – American golf is on a terrific roll, coming off a dominating performance in the Presidents Cup. Some wanted to identify the young U.S. side (the team featured six rookies) as one of the top U.S. sides ever. As in ever.

But with a Ryder Cup looming one year away outside Paris, Jim Furyk, the thoughtful realist that he is, wishes to tug on the reins a bit.

Winning a Presidents Cup in a walk against an International team that was not in very good form at Liberty National outside New York and winning a Ryder Cup on foreign soil are two very, very different quests.

“We have 25 years of scars to overcome,” said Furyk, who will captain the American side and is in France for a few days to commemorate the 2018 edition of the Ryder Cup being one year out. Furyk played in nine Ryder Cups and doesn’t hide his record. His teams were 2-7.

“That being said, I will have a lot of young talent on my team. I’m anxious to see how they handle that challenge. Surely, Europe has handled those away matches far better in the last 25 years than we have.”

The last time the U.S. won a Ryder Cup away from home was at The Belfry in England in 1993, four years before Furyk competed in his first Ryder Cup. The winning putt was holed by Davis Love III, who, at 53, now can play PGA Tour Champions events.

But Furyk will captain a youthful team emboldened by confidence that has found some swagger after losing its sixth Ryder Cup in seven at Gleneagles, in Scotland, three years ago. A U.S task force of players, captains and PGA of America officials was formed in hopes not just of winning the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine last autumn, which the U.S. accomplished, but to build a program that would have the continuity to win Ryder Cups for the next 10 and 20 years.

Having won two Presidents Cups and a Ryder Cup in the last three years, Team USA now eyes winning a Ryder Cup away from home. It would be the biggest, and most significant, high-water mark since the sinking lows of Gleneagles three years ago.

“We were talking about trying to have a winning record in the next 10 Ryder Cups,” Furyk said Tuesday of what the task force set out to accomplish. “Well, in order to do that, you eventually have to win on foreign soil, correct? I guess you could call that the new frontier … I think that’s what we need to accomplish to validate our team and validate what we’re trying to do with our future.”

Surely the high praise heaped upon the U.S. side has not been lost on European captain Thomas Bjorn, who has played a role on seven teams – three as a player, and four as a vice-captain. When Europe lost at Hazeltine last autumn, Bjorn served as vice-captain to Darren Clarke. It was the first time he had tasted defeat in the event.

Bjorn looked at the Official World Golf Ranking on Tuesday morning in Paris and liked what he saw. Eleven of the top 21 players in the world are European, something he cannot ever remember seeing before.

One message that he will impart to his team?

“It hurts, losing,” Bjorn said. “They all need to understand that. Winning the Ryder Cup doesn’t come easy.”

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