Davis Love III is back in his hometown to play in a golf tournament. But Love is also ever mindful of something even bigger: this fall’s Ryder Cup.
Love, a Charlotte native who went on to play collegiately at North Carolina, will captain the U.S. team at Minnesota’s Hazeltine National Golf Club.
So while he’s concentrating on playing well in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, there are also these kinds of conversations he had with assistant Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, with whom Love practiced Tuesday.
“Yeah, (Furyk) keeps saying, ‘Call me if you need any help,’ ” Love said. “I said, ‘You’re helping me, you don’t think you are. I’m asking you little things for advice.’ ”
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Love said he spends a lot of time talking to and getting advice from former Ryder Cup captains. He also said that he finds peace when he can actually play.
“It just seems like every year (the Ryder Cup) gets bigger and bigger and bigger,” Love said. “There’s more going on. So I’m balancing my role. The best place for me is to be (on the course). I love the four hours inside the ropes. The rest of it I’m not very good at.”
Love, of course, fielded a question about how he would view Tiger Woods (who is also an assistant captain) as a possibility for the team. Woods has yet to play this season as he recovers from back surgeries.
“He needs to play,” said Love. “He has to play enough to, one, get going and, two, to impress everybody. It’s not just me. He’s obviously going to be there in the team room. He wants to play, he wants to try and make the team on points. I don’t think he’s quite the personality that wants a (captain’s) pick, you know?”
▪ Columbia native Dustin Johnson withdrew from the tournament and didn’t give a reason why, as did Branden Grace. They were replaced by alternates Henrik Norlander and Kelly Kraft.
▪ Derek Ernst, who won the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship, is back. Not only is that the only victory in Ernst’s career, but the only time he’s finished in the top 10. Tournament executive director Kym Hougham compares Ernst’s victory to Chaminade’s win over top-ranked Virginia in college basketball in 1982.
▪ Monday qualifier Mackenzie Hughes is a Charlotte resident who is originally from Ontario, Canada. Hughes, a Web.com Tour regular, played at Kent State. He’s played in the Canadian Open twice and in the U.S. Open once, missing the cut all three times.
Wednesday’s notable Pro-Am pairings
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (with teammate and caddy Luke Kuechly) and pro Johnson Wagner will play at 1:27 p.m. from the first tee. Gov. Pat McCrory will tee off at 7:30 a.m., NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin at 8:15 a.m. and Chicago Bears coach John Fox at 12:42 p.m.
Partly cloudy, high of 74, 10 percent chance of rain.