Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and other potential American Ryder Cup team members just played a practice round at Le Golf National
With the 2018 Ryder Cup creeping closer every day, Captain Jim Furyk and a few potential Team USA members met at the host Le Golf National course near Paris, France for a practice round Saturday, July 14. Some were riding on fumes from jetlag, others were seeing Paris for the first time, but fun seemed to be had by all. Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner, Brian Harman, and Tony Finau joined their captain in learning the course at which they plan to defend their 2016 title won at Hazeltine.
Captain Jim Furyk on what he expected from his team this weekend at Le Golf National:
“I want the guys to have fun, enjoy themselves. It’s great to see the comradery. They like to pick and tease and have fun with each other which is a great part of the team spirit. But most important, just getting a general idea of the routing of the golf course, the shots it takes. It’s a placement golf course, they’re not going to hit a lot of drivers. It becomes a second shot golf course, I want them to see that and know that.”
Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner, and Brian Harman shared thoughts on Le Golf National:
"The golf course is beautiful," Spieth said. "I never watched much of the French Open, and just by pictures I thought it was a big, narrow golf course, but it’s actually more of a pick-your-shot, pick-it-apart course. A lot of people playing from the same spots, so it will be a lot of wedge, short-iron control and then it’s a putting contest, which will make it exciting.”
"Approach shots are going to be the big key to the tournament," Kisner added. "I love the finish with the setting here coming back towards the clubhouse. I think it will be a great amphitheater for the Ryder Cup. That par-3 16 over the water is where a lot of the holes finish during match play and I think it will be a big risk-reward shot if you want to take the water on.”
“It’s got some great par 3s. No. 16 is a great hole, 16 is probably my favorite," Harman said. “It’s an elevated tee box down to a green that’s protected by water. It all depends on what the wind's going to do. It’s not a long haul but calls for a more conservative iron shot.”
Tony Finau and Bubba Watson on the advantages of getting a few practice rounds in before the Ryder Cup begins on September 25:
“I think it’s a big advantage to see the golf course and see it as many times before the competition," Finau said. "A lot of those tee shots right off the bat, first hole, second hole, some really tight tee shots. But when you get out there you see that there’s some room to work with in the fairway. I think it has a lot to do with visualization.”
“It’s good for some of these young guys," Watson said. "They’re going to make teams. Like Tony, at some point, he’s going to start making President’s Cup, Ryder Cup teams. For them to get out here and hang with the captain, hang with some of the guys from PGA of America and see what it feels like, give them energy towards moving forward. It’s important for all of us to come out and see what a team feels like because we’re so used to individual sport.”
Team USA has roughly two months to prepare to defend their title, which leaves plenty of time for the points to adjust and team roster to shift. For now, they will focus on what Le Golf National has to offer and learn the course to prepare for the 2019 Ryder Cup this September 25 through 30.