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Couples & Hulbert to Be Love's Assistants for 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Team


Two of Davis Love III's best friends, Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert, will serve as two of captain Love's four assistants on this year's U.S. Ryder Cup team. The biennial competition with Europe will be held September 25-30 at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.

Love made the appointment Wednesday, although Couples let slip at last month's Memorial Tournament that he would be an assistant to Love. "I'd like to re-announce some announcements that Fred Couples let slip," Love told reporters with a smile.

Couples has played on five Ryder Cup teams and recently received considerable acclaim for his captaincy of two victorious U.S. teams over the Internationals in the Presidents Cup matches, which are held in the odd years from the Ryder Cup.

"I've talked to Fred a lot since he's done so well the last couple years with the Presidents Cup team," Love said. "Talked to him a lot, gotten a lot of advice, been surprised at his level of detail and his commitment to the Presidents Cup.

"And I know that's why the guys are lobbying for him to do it over and over again, because he really has put a lot into it."

The friendship of Love and the 54-year-old Hulbert goes back years to when Love played on the PGA Tour as an amateur and Hulbert as a pro. They've been close friends ever since. Both Hulbert, who was an assistant to Curtis Strange in the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry, and Couples are laidback and friendly, admirable traits in these intense team competitions.

Strange gave strong endorsement for Hulbert, calling him as the best assistant in Ryder Cup history. Hulbert and Couples will provide input on Love's two other assistants. European captain Jose Maria Olazabal has not announced his four assistant captains.

"Those who were my natural choices," Love said. "My next two are going to be harder."

Since the home captain can determine the order of the matches, Love noted that the 2012 Ryder Cup will start with foursomes. "We feel like with our team, the way it's shaping up, the way it's played in the past, that's a good thing for us to do right off the bat in the morning," Love said.

"The players that I've talked to were either for it or heavily for it. So I think we have a lot of confidence that we're better at that format than people think we are."

After winning the 2008 Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., the Americans lost the 2010 match 14 to 13 at Celtic Manor in Wales.