Captain's Blog: A strong U.S. Open
Leading up to the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III will periodically check in with PGA.com to talk about the various things going on in his life on the course, off the course and in his Ryder Cup preparations. This is the second installment of Love's 'Captain's Blog,' as told to PGA.com's T.J. Auclair.
By Davis Love III
U.S. Ryder Cup Captain
I just finished with the U.S. Open at Congressional and tied for 11th. I played real well and, honestly, I hit the ball a lot better than I scored.
Before the tournament even started it was a great week. President Obama invited me and a few potential Ryder Cuppers to visit with him at the White House. That's always an honor. It's also special to play a tournament -- any tournament -- so close to the nation's capital. And Congressional is fantastic. It's a great, traditional golf course. The clubhouse is massive with that rolling property.
There was definitely the opportunity to shoot low scores. I thought that it was a great set up and a fun U.S. Open. I'd say the last three or four U.S. Opens have been a lot of fun with a much friendlier set up for players and fans. Seeing players make birdies is exciting. Guys weren't struggling to make par on every hole like it used to be in the past at the U.S. Open. The greens were much softer than the USGA probably wanted, but that was because of some weather. Overall, I think I hit it well enough to get into double digits under par, but missed some putts and wound up finishing the week at 3 under. Of course, no one could keep up with Rory McIlroy.
Speaking of Rory, I was very happy for him. He's only 22 years old and people are going to compare him to Tiger because of the start he's had to his career, winning a major so early and in such dominate fashion. A lot of his supporters -- and I'm one of them -- have known for a long time that he was something special. To see him win so quickly after what happened at the Masters was great.
Yeah, he's on, "the other team," so to speak, but I never look at it as us versus them. If a guy leaves his home and his family to come and play in the U.S., I always give him credit for that. I'm happy for Rory. I always play the golf course and play for a score... But, he whipped us pretty good last week. It'll be fun to see what he does now. It's always fun to watch a hot player.
In the U.S., we have guys with Rory's potential too. Guys like Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. Hopefully it'll be an American -- maybe one of those guys -- that wins the British Open.
As some people know, playing my way on to the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team is a goal of mine. I want to play well enough to cause a nice little problem for myself. After two major championships, I'm No. 9 in the U.S. standings. That's nice and I'm playing well, but it's still very early. Next year, when you can gain points week in and week out, is when it matters most. I hope I'm playing well and staying consistent then. Like I said though, I'm happy with where my game's at right now -- I'd like a few more putts to drop -- but I'm excited about the possibilities.
It's been a hectic few days since we finished up at Congressional. I spent Monday and Tuesday in Rhode Island to play in the CVS/Caremark Classic, which is a wonderful two-day, two-person team event, run by Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon. I always have fun playing in that tournament and this time was no different. Rhode Island Country Club is a beautiful course and the weather was perfect.
My partner was Morgan Pressel. We both had it going and actually finished second behind Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson, who are two of the best players in the world right now. No mixed team has ever won the tournament -- it would be great if one eventually does -- but I thought it was pretty amazing that we played well enough to place second. The ladies have so much fun playing with the guys and vice versa. It was also pretty cool because Morgan and Paula Creamer (Paula played with us the first day) were both preparing for this week's Wegmans LPGA Championship, which is a major for them. Overall, it was a great event.
I was supposed to be in Chicago on Wednesday, but the travel got a little messed up with weather and after a sleepless night, I ended up flying back home.
That's what has been going on lately. Now I'm really looking forward to the British Open.