Virginia Golfer May / June 2015 - Page 37

MICHAEL COHEN/USGA PHOTO ARCHIVES are going to help me, then I’ll do it. If you’re 100 percent bought in and you’re going to be there whether you’re playing or not, then I’m in.’ I have never heard this group of guys say, ‘We will do whatever it takes to win.’ That’s the team feeling we want to convey to the players. VG: What will be different than the last time you captained in 2012? LOVE: I didn’t reach out to former captains enough. I’m not saying we’re going to automatically win, but this is why the Task Force is to going work for the teams going forward. I called all the former captains who I played for. When I called Lanny Wadkins, he said, ‘You’ve made my day. I’m am so excited that somebody called me, told me what’s going on, asked for my opinion and wanted my help.’ I didn’t ask him last time. When I keep saying I made mistakes when I was captain before, I didn’t sit down with T Kite, Lanny om Wadkins, Ben Crenshaw, Raymond Floyd and say, ‘T me what to do.’ The culture was not ell there for us to have communication, support, ideas and a game plan that got handed off. We didn’t have that continuity, that system. Now we’re all excited because this is what we’re going to do this year, two years from now and four years from now. We have a plan and a system and we’re all bought into it. We’ve never really had a long-term game plan to get our guys prepared year after year. The challenge is to make sure the guys who are going to make the team know we’re organized, ready and that guys like Tiger and Phil and Stricker are not only trying to make the team, they’re trying to help Davis. They’re watching and planning and strategizing. I think that’s what Europe’s done really well. They have a committee and they know who’s going to be the next captain, the captain after that and who’s going to be the assistants. It’s more than just a new captain every two years picking four of his friends. It’s continuity, continuity, continuity. Nick Saban or Dean Smith or whoever is a great coach—they run the same system over and over—and practice the system. They’re watching and planning and strategizing. I think that’s what Europe’s done really well. They have a committee and know who’s going to be the next captain, the captain after that and who’s going to be the assistants. VG: Are you excited to get a second chance to be a winning captain? LOVE: Every time I talk about it I get excited, because it’s so different and so fresh. That’s why it’s not a second chance for me. It’s like starting over. It’s like this is a whole new deal. This is the second time I’m doing it but I’m not the w w w. v s g a . o r g 34_VSGA_MayJune15.indd 35 LOVE: Honestly I don’t. I didn’t start out on Though he remains competitive on the regular circuit, Love says he knows when it will be time to play the Champions Tour on a consistent basis. same captain. I’m starting over with a better team behind me and a fresh outlook. Now I know I can be more focused and decisive on what matters for the players. We’re setting a course for the future and I get to be the guy who gets to kick it off. VG: Does that fact that you went through this Task Force add to the pressure to win in 2016? LOVE: The main reason this Task Force happened is because we were losing. We keep losing. I’ve been on those stages 15 times. I’d look across at the other team and think, ‘We have a really good team. We can win this.’ Then it’s always close or we lose. So why do we play so well in the Presidents Cup and don’t play as well in the Ryder Cup? It’s a matter of wanting to win the Ryder Cup so badly that we get in our own way. The secret is how do we get them to relax and play like they do at the Presidents Cup? Somehow we have to get over that hump. There is going to be even more pressure because we’ve lost three in a row. When I’m at the Presidents Cup we’re going to be trying to help Jay win, but we’re going to be watching what’s going on and learn about what we can translate to a Ryder Cup. That’s going to be really important to not let these guys focus on the record of the past. They’re going to hear it. They’re going to be like Kentucky basketball all year long. You’re undefeated, undefeated, undefeated. We’re going to hear you’ve lost, you’ve lost, you’ve lost, task force, task force, yada, yada. They’re going to hear it. There’s no avoiding that. We’re going to have to manage that. VG: Your record compares favorably to peers Fred Couples and Mark O’Meara, who were elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Have you thought about the possibility of getting inducted? the tour wanting to make the Hall of Fame. I wanted to see how good I could get. I wanted to win a bunch of tournaments and last for a while. I want to be the Ryder Cup captain because I want to be around the team. Do I like the attention of being Ryder Cup captain? No, thank you. When I think of the Hall of Fame, I think Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, T Watson. I don’t think Davis Love. They om should put people in who are slam dunks. I’m glad they threw my name out there,