Golf

Jack Nicklaus hosts PGA Tour professionals at home to talk Ryder Cup and majors

Jack Nicklaus watches his drive from the first tee box Thursday, April 9, 2015. Nicklaus along with Gary Player and Arnold Palmer were honorary starters of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
Jack Nicklaus watches his drive from the first tee box Thursday, April 9, 2015. Nicklaus along with Gary Player and Arnold Palmer were honorary starters of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The United States is taking this constant losing in the Ryder Cup seriously.

On Thursday night, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus held a dinner at their North Palm Beach home with possible members of the U.S. team in 2016 being invited. They talked about a lot of things, including how to win the Ryder Cup seven months from now.

The United States has not won the Ryder Cup, a competition that pits the United States against Europe every two years, since 2008. In addition, the United States has lost eight of the past 10 meetings. This year’s matches will be played Sept. 27-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

The turnout at the Nicklaus get-together was impressive. Among the attendees: Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Tom Lehman and Dustin Johnson.

Nicklaus, who is a two-time Davis Cup captain himself, tried to offer the gathering some inspiration.

“What a wealth of knowledge and perspective from an icon, both on and off the golf course,” said Davis Love III, who will serve as the team’s captain. “Once they heard Jack talk about the Ryder Cup, his great memories of it, and talk a little bit about preparing for major championships or Ryder Cups — we all learned something for sure.

“We got to see Tiger, Phil and Jack, all in the same room, and talking to each other and asking each other questions. We had an awful lot of wins sitting there for some young guys to listen to.”

Love said of Woods, who is currently not playing after undergoing back surgery: “He looked great. He looked fit. He looked happy.”

As team captain, Love said he might hold more meetings leading up to the Ryder Cup.

“The Ryder Cup team only gets together as a team for one week every two years, so we’re trying to change that,” Love said. “It was nice to get everybody in the same room and talk about it.”

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