Love wants to see big two clash


GOLF: AMERICAN RYDER Cup captain Davis Love would love to see Tiger Woods taking on Rory McIlroy in the singles at Medinah in Chicago on September 28th-30th.

The two golfing superstars never faced each other on McIlroy’s Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor two years ago, but the morning after McIlroy’s runaway USPGA victory Love said: “I’d want to go watch that one.

“It would be nice to be able to rig a couple like that for Tiger and Rory – he would probably like that. It would be a great match. I’m sure they both would relish that – we have got some guys on our team that I’m sure would love to take him on because you want to play the best. You want to play a guy that’s hot and I know Tiger or Phil (Mickelson) or any of those guys would love to try it.”

In Wales McIlroy twice faced Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink and then, with Graeme McDowell as his partner, took on Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan before halving his singles clash with Cink.

Love and opposite number Jose Maria Olazabal will put in their line-ups separately for each of the sessions, but with McIlroy the world number one and only current major champion on the European side it would be no surprise to see him sent off first, especially as he likes to play quickly.

In six appearances – only one of them a team victory – Woods has only gone off in the opening singles once. He beat Paul Casey 3 and 2 in Detroit in 2004.

Love described McIlroy as “one of the best players in the world”.

“He’s one of the best with Luke Donald and Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson,” he said. “When he gets ahead he’s pretty amazing. I think that’s the most incredible thing about Rory – give him a chance. You can tell he’s caged up and ready to go and ready to bust loose. . . A lot like Tiger – the bigger the stage, the better he plays.”

As for McIlroy’s possible influence on next month’s match Love added: “I know he’s going to be a very big part of their team. Now he’s got the experience and knows what it’s all about he will be tough to beat obviously.”

Meanwhile, despite a closing 74 at the USPGA, Phil Mickelson clung on to the eighth and last qualifying position on the American Ryder Cup team – and will become their record cap holder by making his ninth appearance in Chicago.

Love gave strong hints yesterday that Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk will be three of his four wild cards and that Rickie Fowler may edge Dustin Johnson for the final spot.

Love also completed his backroom team, naming Scott Verplank and Jeff Suman as his final two assistant captains.

They join Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert.

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