Davis Love III says improved communication among Ryder Cup brass and players would help frustrations from festering into problems.
Love, who was an assistant captain in Paris when the Americans lost 17.5-10.5, was asked about the biggest lesson he learned from the loss during his Wednesday press conference at the RSM Classic.
“I just think we need to communicate a little bit better as a team. That doesn’t mean just the captains or just the players. I think we need to get to know each other even better and communicate a little bit better so little frustrations don’t turn into problems,” said Love, the tournament’s host. “I said there was a few things I could have done better that I apologized to [captain] Jim [Furyk] for that we just didn’t see early enough or deal with during the year.”
Love didn’t mention Patrick Reed during the press conference, but it’s not difficult to connect the dots. Reed’s frustrations stemming from the loss, two benchings and a split pairing with Jordan Spieth led to him criticizing the team’s communication and some decisions. (Furyk, and later Justin Thomas, contradicted some of Reed’s claims.)
The Americans have lost four of the last five Ryder Cups (and nine of the last 12). They were the heavy favorite in Paris but couldn’t match an energized European team.
Love said the USA Basketball-like year-round approach has helped the U.S., but there’s still room for improvement.
“We have to get better at some things,” he said. “But as players, we have to be a little bit more prepared as well.”
Love said the U.S. had a lot of tired players who played poorly in the playoffs and into Paris, or players who were in form but then ran out of gas. He thinks the new schedule, with the Tour Championship finishing earlier, will benefit the Americans.
“We hate to lose, but I think we’re still positive about the future,” he said. “Except for a couple little things that have created a big stir afterwards, we all got along great and we had a lot of fun and we had a great time even leaving and flying home and communicating afterwards.”