The NFL season finally kicked off Thursday night in Philadelphia, not far from the site of this week’s BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club. Coaches around the country have already gone through the painstaking cuts process to shape their 53-man rosters, and The Forecaddie sympathizes with all those called and asked to stop by coach’s office, he’d like to see you, and please don’t forget to bring your playbook.
The Man Out Front also knows several Ryder Cup bubble players are disappointed to be on the outside looking in after Jim Furyk announced Bryson DeChambeau, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as his first three captain’s picks Tuesday.
There’s one spot left and even contender Xander Schauffele said Friday it’s Tony Finau’s to lose. But at least they all have a pretty good idea where they stand. After Furyk delivered the good news to his first three captain’s picks, he made five additional calls to other non-qualifiers for an update.
Those calls aren’t fun to make, but it comes with the territory.
So do speeches at these things, preferably of the motivational variety. Furyk is hard at work on his words of wisdom for the squad, and, given that he’s a football fanatic, TMOF wondered if Furyk’s style will be closer to player’s coach or disciplinarian.
More Pete Carroll or Tom Coughlin?
“Players, for sure,” Furyk told TMOF. “I’m not sure in the Ryder Cup the disciplinarian thing would quite fly, but these are my peers too. I’ve played alongside these guys for so long, not only played with them but (coached) as a vice-captain. I’m a lot older than most of them, but I’d say players coach for sure.”
The Americans had that for their blowout Presidents Cup win in Steve Stricker, a guy who’s still teeing it up several times a year.
TMOF caught up with Rickie Fowler to ask about Furyk’s coaching style, and he too said that familiarity is a serious factor.
“I think that makes a difference,” Fowler said. “Knowing how they play, how they were respected as players. Nothing against (2010 captain Corey Pavin), someone I got to play for and looked up to growing up. But I didn’t get to play with him a whole lot, so there was a bit of separation. Now the past few captains are guys I’ve been able to become close to with my time on Tour.”
Come to think of it, Furyk even talks about the Ryder Cup like a football game. One that can’t come soon enough.
“It’s tough to play on the road,” Furyk said. “We’re trying to turn back 25 years of one-way at a golf course they know very well, I’m very aware of all that. I’m looking for players that want to seize that opportunity and really thrive in those conditions.”