TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) – European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson said there will be changes when the biennial showdown with the United States heads to Rome next year but refused to divulge any further details.
Following their 19-9 shellacking at the hands of the Americans last year, it’s back to the drawing board for the Europeans as they look to reclaim the Cup and continue their dominance on home soil. The U.S. have not won in Europe since 1993.
“There are quite a few things in the works but it will be announced in due course in not too far distant future,” assured Stenson, the 2016 British Open champion, during a break in practice for the PGA Championship.
“I can’t really spill the beans on that today but there will be some changes. That’s what we’re working towards.
“We need to have that approved and ready to go, discussions with the (DP World) Tour and everyone involved.
“There will be one or two little surprises maybe down the road, so stay tuned.”
Those changes are likely to focus on the number of captain’s picks and the European’s qualifying period which came under scrutiny following their Whistling Straits flop.
The European squad was not finalised until just a week prior to travelling to Wisconsin, leaving little time for the team to come together.
“There’s a lot of wheels that are spinning at the moment,” said the 46-year-old Swede. “A lot of things in planning and I’m heading down to Rome in a couple of weeks’ time for the first site visit.”
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, who is also at Southern Hills and will be playing in the group ahead of Stenson, said the Americans will stick with a winning template while injecting some of his own personality.
“We do have probably more of a template,” said Johnson, who has not ruled the possibility of player/captain role.
“But within that template there are systems that have been useful, that have been beneficial and effective.
“The nuance to that is everybody is different.
“You combine what we’ve established with the individual side of what I have and what I believe is imperative and beneficial, and it’ll be a combo of all of that.
“I kind of go back to the template we have, I can rely on.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Tulsa, Editing by Pritha Sarkar)