Jan 11 (Reuters) - Newly appointed U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk welcomes the tall challenge that awaits him in Paris next year when he looks to steer the Americans to their first victory over Europe on foreign soil in 25 years.
“Some people look at the negative. It’s been 25 years,” Furyk, who was introduced as captain for the 2018 edition of the biennial competition on Wednesday, said on a conference call about registering the first U.S. road victory since 1993.
“I view it as an opportunity. It’s exciting and it’s a new day and age for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. We have some momentum right now and we have some success under our belt from last time.”
The U.S. team ended Europe’s string of three consecutive Ryder Cup victories last October at Hazeltine where Furyk served as a vice-captain under Davis Love III.
Furyk will be matching wits with his friend and European captain Thomas Bjorn of Denmark.
“Thomas will be a great leader. I know the team will be strong. They’re not going to be happy about the results in Hazeltine,” Furyk said. “I‘m really excited about rolling up my sleeves and getting started.”
Furyk said each captain puts his own stamp on a team.
“I‘m a little bit more of a quiet leader,” said Furyk, 46. “For me to get into the room and get rah-rah and start yelling and chanting is not going to work.”
Furyk, whose loopy, one-of-a-kind swing has stamped him as a steely individualist, has dealt with Ryder Cup disappointment as a player with a 10-20-4 match record.
“I’ll try to use my experience, both good and bad,” he said. “You can learn a lot from your mistakes, and if you look at my record, I’ve learned a lot.”
Furyk’s most pleasant Ryder Cup memory came at Brookline in 1999. “A team that was kind of left for dead, four points down (heading into Sunday singles), having the biggest comeback at that time in Ryder Cup history,” he said.
”The most painful memory, was the exact flip side of that in 2012 at Medinah.
“It was again four points up (U.S. leading) and having the tables turned on us in Chicago. Coming out of that event with a loss was painful for me.”
Furyk, who is ranked 37th and shot a PGA Tour record 58 last August, would not rule out being the first Ryder Cup playing captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963, but stressed that his new job was top priority. (Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)