Jim Furyk Warned Young Ryder Cuppers: Tiger a 'Sleeping Giant'
In an interview with SI Now's Ryan Asselta, "Mr. 58" Jim Furyk expressed his happiness about the American Ryder Cup win at Hazeltine and described some of the behind-the-scenes atmosphere. "Davis set a great tone early on," Furyk said. "We wanted the guys to enjoy themselves."
Furyk said that he felt his role as vice captain was mainly to assess the team members' personalities to see what each of them needed, whether that was one-on-one encouragement or a hands-off approach. Furyk also praised Bubba Watson, who was a last-minute addition to the team as a vice captain. "What Bubba did was phenomenal," Furyk said. "He was ninth in points, he's the seventh-ranked player in the world, he gets bypassed for a pick, and still offers his heart... I think that meant a lot." Furyk called Tiger Woods' contributions to the team as a vice captain "thoughtful" and "insightful." "He brought a lot of energy behind the scenes," he said. "Tiger was involved dramatically."
According to Furyk, there was a fair amount of ribbing from the younger guys on the team toward Tiger about when he'd be returning to competitive play. "It was fun seeing the sparring. The young guys on the team kind of jabbing at him ... Those of us that played against him in our prime also forewarned the youngsters, 'Hey, you're poking a sleeping giant there, you might want to just let him lay,'" Furyk said.
Now that the task force is officially disbanded (it's been replaced by a committee), Furyk is looking forward to the day when he might lead his own American team to victory, putting to use what he's learned as an assistant captain. "I'd love to be a Ryder Cup captain," he said. "If and when the committee decides that I'm the right person for the job, I'd love to do it."