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Accuracy key in France for 2018 Ryder Cup says Furyk

 | August 10, 2017

The 47-year-old American, whose lone major title came at the 2003 US Open, will lead holders America into the biennial team matches next year against a European squad captained by Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.

JIM

CHARLOTTE: US 2018 Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk said Wednesday that accuracy will be critical in next year’s Ryder Cup showdown with Europe after a visit to Le Golf National in France.

The 47-year-old American, whose lone major title came at the 2003 US Open, will lead holders America into the biennial team matches next year against a European squad captained by Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.

“It doesn’t look like a place where you’re going to be long and wild and bomb it all over the place and score,” Furyk said of the course near Paris. “It looks like a place where you need to control the golf ball, hit a lot of greens. It will favor a good ball-striking team.

“Looking at the champions on the wall at Le Golf National, you see a lot of guys that can control the golf ball, that are accurate hitters, that hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens.”

Furyk dubbed Trianon Palace, where the teams will reside, as “beautiful” and said European Tour players were impressed with Le Golf National.

“Most of the folks I’ve talked to would consider that one of the top-5, even top-3, courses they play on The European Tour every year,” Furyk said.

And that, Furyk said, bodes well for Europe’s chances to reclaim the trophy. Europeans had won eight of the prior 10 Ryder Cups before the Americans recaptured the Cup with a 17-11 home triumph last year at Hazeltine.

“One of the genius moves of all for Ryder Cup Europe is really having that event at a course where their players are comfortable and where their players really like,” Furyk said. “They’ve had the French Open there I think over 20 times in 25 years. Players know the golf course well and they like the golf course and they are used to the shots that it takes.”

The Americans lead the overall rivalry 26-13 with two drawn, but since their rivals were expanded beyond a British-Irish side, the Europeans own a 10-8 edge with one drawn. Not since 1993 has a US squad won in Europe.

Among those in position for the American squad with the deadline still more than a year away are British Open winner Jordan Spieth and runner-up Matt Kuchar, US Open champion Brooks Koepka and world number one Dustin Johnson.

“It’s very early in the process,” Furyk said. “But it’s good to see the guys playing well. We want to put the guys on the team that really are playing well and are in good form going into the Ryder Cup. With the way the points work, that will give everyone a great opportunity to make the team next year.”

Furyk says the PGA Championship’s move to May starting in 2019, which won’t impact next year’s plans, shouldn’t cause any future Ryder Cup disruptions, depending on the gap between the end of the US PGA playoffs and the Ryder Cup.

“There will be two, three, four weeks in between,” Furyk said. “Two weeks might be good. Gives the guys maybe a chance to take a deep breath, get the season over with, and then have a week to prepare and go.”


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