Team USA captain Zach Johnson has revealed he will take the 12 members of his Ryder Cup party on an advanced scouting mission to Italy ahead of their clash with Europe at the end of September.
Johnson says he will fly over to Rome with his 12 players after the season-ending Tour Championship to give them a sample of Marco Simone Golf Club around a fortnight before the Ryder Cup.
Ahead of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, Johnson spoke of his masterplan in team bonding, to get his players over to Italy ahead of the tournament to help both with team spirit and also course management, with opposition captain Luke Donald having the track primed for the Europeans.
“I have something already in store and a plan,” said Johnson. “I made it a priority that I’m taking the 12 guys that make my team to Rome two weeks prior to the event – two and a half weeks prior to the event – so that way we get our feet on the grounds, they get their feet on the grounds, experience Marco Simone first hand.
“Then when we leave and come back home for two weeks, they’ll have at least, I think, a pretty realistic expectation as to what is required.
“I think that trip right there is going to be crucial. Certainly chemistry and camaraderie and all that good stuff inside the locker room. It’s a priority for those guys to get on Marco Simone.”
Johnson says he’s informed players who are in and around the USA Ryder Cup standings to mark the trip on their calendars – saying that from experience they can make a huge difference.
“The only thing I can do right now is communicate that one, that it’s a priority to me; two, that it’s a priority to Team USA and the PGA of America; and, three, put it on your radar, put it on your calendar. So I’ve done ,” he added.
“I don’t know how far down the list I’ve gone, but I’ve done that to the guys. I have not heard anything that says that no one is in support of that.
“From what I’ve witnessed and experienced as a vice captain and as a player with these trips. Granted, Wisconsin is a lot easier to get to, but everybody made it a priority.”
Johnson feels the trip will be especially valuable to try and avoid the humiliating defeat America suffered in Paris on their last trip, as they failed to adjust to the course set up by Thomas Bjorn – which he feels Luke Donald will replicate.
“I’m not one to go on assumptions. It’s probably not a great thing,” Johnson added. “At…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golf Monthly RSS Feed…