PARIS: Jim Furyk was named on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) as captain of the United States Ryder Cup team to face Europe in 2018 when the showdown is held at Le Golf National near Paris and where his team will look to end a 25-year jinx.
The 46-year-old succeeds Davis Love, who guided the United States to a 17-11 rout of Europe at Hazeltine in Minnesota last year, when Furyk was a vice-captain.
Europe will be skippered by Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn for the tie which will be held from September 28-30 in 2018 and when the US will look for a first win on foreign soil since 1993.
Furyk, who played in nine successive Ryder Cups from 1997 to 2014, will bring plenty of experience to the role having won the 2003 US Open and 17 USPGA tour titles.
“This is such an honor. I’m actually a little overwhelmed,” Furyk told a press conference.
“It’s no secret, it’s been my favorite event my entire career. In my opinion the Ryder Cup embodies everything that is special about golf.
“It has the team work, the camaraderie, the competition, the passion, it brings fans together from worldwide.
“I just get chills thinking about all the events I’ve been able to participate in and now to sit here as the captain for 2018 is such an honour.”
Furyk, however, will have his work cut out bearing in mind the Americans’ lengthy drought on European soil and admitted it will be tough to replicate his country’s thumping win of 2016.
“I remember sitting in the room and knowing in my heart Davis was the best person to lead this team in 2016. Davis is going to be a very tough act to follow. He put a system in place and got the players behind it,” he said.
“It won’t make my task easy but it is comforting knowing there is a system in place.
“So, as the first order of my presidency, I want to make sure everyone knows Davis Love III will be my vice-captain for 2018.”
Bjorn took to Twitter to congratulate Furyk.
“Congratulations to Jim Furyk for becoming @RyderCupUSA captain. Jim, I’m looking forward to our shared times ahead,” the Dane wrote.
Furyk said he expects the 2018 match to be played in a competitive but friendly manner despite previous encounters often bristling with tension and controversy.
“Thomas is a friend, someone I look forward to sharing this process with – in a friendly manner, done well and done right,” Furyk told the press conference.
“Thomas will be a great leader. I know the team is going to be strong. They are not going to be happy about the result at Hazeltine and as always the European crowd will be in full force. That whole atmosphere is going to provide a very difficult challenge for Team USA.
“We haven’t won on foreign soil since 1993. We have got our work cut out but I am really excited about rolling up my sleeves and getting started.”
As a player, Furyk was part of the US team which won the Ryder Cup in 1999 and 2008.
Fellow US players took to social media to hail Furyk’s appointment.
“Congrats @jimfuryk!! Time for me to make that team!!,” tweeted Rickie Fowler.
Zach Johnson added: “Congratulations to our new Captain @jimfuryk! Was always a “player captain” for @RyderCupUSA, now he’s our leader. #beatEurope.”