PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – It’s a compliment to Jim Furyk’s talent and longevity that his acceptance of the 2018 Ryder Cup captaincy was viewed by some as premature. After all, during an injury-plagued 2016 campaign, he finished second in a major, had three other top-10s and became the first PGA Tour player to shoot 58 in an event.
In other words, he might play well enough to make his own team next fall. And there hasn’t been a playing captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963.
“If I’m in the form that I was in in 2015 and before, then great, I think we have that conversation,” Furyk said Wednesday. “But right now, my duty that I’ve been given and one that I’ve looked forward to for the last 15 or 20 years of my career is to be Ryder Cup captain. I want to be prepared. I want to do the best job I possibly can. …
“As far as the playing aspect, if we get in that situation, I would be more than happy to talk about it. But I’m being dead honest when I say, right now, I’m focused on being the captain.”
In fact, the 46-year-old Furyk said the gig came at the perfect time. He’s always wanted to captain a team before he’s 50, when he’s still a full-time Tour member, to “have that closeness” to today’s stars.
Furyk said he’ll continue to play the same number of events over the next two seasons (25-30) to stay competitive and involved.
“I think I can do two things separately,” he said. “I think I can captain this team to the best of my abilities and I think I can also have a career on the PGA Tour. Now if those two end up colliding in the future, great, but it’s not my focus right now.”