“I would play (in the Ryder Cup) if I was in the top two or three (qualifiers),” the 51-year-old said after he showed he can still match it with the young guys when his putting is on song.
He said the new US Ryder Cup regime, appointed in the wake of a review that studied the reasons for last year’s loss, made the role of the captain less important.“We’ve got it covered. (Tom Lehman), he’s not just an assistant captain.”
Love previously captained the American team that was beaten in 2012 when Europe pulled off an unlikely final-day comeback. The 21-times PGA Tour winner also has played on six teams, with a record of nine wins, 12 losses and five halves.
Love, healthy after foot and spinal fusion surgery, said he was not sure if he would play if he only scraped into the team as one of the final qualifiers. “If I was scraping in, I don’t know. I think Tiger (Woods) will be real honest (about the merits of playing or otherwise).”
One thing Love will try to clarify with the PGA of America is whether he will receive an extra captain’s pick if he qualifies but decides to not play, or whether the ninth-ranked player would automatically take his spot. The US team will comprise of eight players taken off a points list that will largely be decided by results on the PGA Tour next year, the captain selecting four others. Tiger Woods began the day two adrift, but couldn’t get things going as he parred the first six holes.
1 Jordan Spieth (USA) 12.35pts average, 2 Rory McIlroy (irl) 12.30, 3 Jason Day (Aus) 9.29, 4 Bubba Watson (USA) 8.30, 5 Justin Rose (Eng) 7.20, 6 Jim Furyk (USA) 6.94, 7 Dustin Johnson (USA) 6.69, 8 Rickie Fowler (USA) 6.66, 9 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 6.01, 10 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 5.47, 11 Zach Johnson (USA) 4.81, 12 Adam Scott (Aus) 4.76, 13 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 4.74, 14 Jimmy Walker (USA) 4.53, 15 Matt Kuchar (USA) 4.36, 16 Brooks Koepka (USA) 4.31, 17 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 4.19, 18 Patrick Reed (USA) 4.01, 19 J.B. Holmes (USA) 3.99, 20 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 3.90
22 Shane Lowry (Irl) 3.81, 63 Graeme McDowell (Irl) 2.23