PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jim Furyk played in his final Ryder Cup in 2014, and he was captain in 2018. Now he gets to play both roles next year with a new PGA Tour Champions event that brings together the best from around the world.
The World Champions Cup will begin in the fall of 2022.
Taking a page from the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, it will feature nine-hole matches twice a day among Team USA, Team Europe and Team World. Furyk will be the playing captain for the Americans, while Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland will do the same for Team Europe and Ernie Els of South Africa leading Team World.
The location and qualifying has not been determined for the six-man teams of players 50 and older.
“I think it’s exciting,” Furyk said. “For years I’ve heard folks talk about whether you could blend the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup and get all three together. But they're all run by different bodies. I’m 50 and I’m not going to play in another Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. I’m going to help (Steve) Stricker out as a vice captain this year, so I’m in touch with these events.
"But I get to play in one again. I get to compete, and it will be a lot of fun.”
Furyk played the Ryder Cup nine times and won the clinching match in 2008 at Valhalla, and he was on seven Presidents Cup team. Clarke played on five Ryder Cup teams and was captain in 2016, while Els played on eight Presidents Cup teams and was captain at Royal Melbourne in 2019.
Chicago-based Intersport is putting the World Champions Cup together, with Peter Jacobsen serving as chairman.
The event will be played every year over three days, with nine-hole matches played twice a day in team formats and singles. Points will be earned for each hole won from every match, and the team with the most points from all the matches will be the winner.
“International team golf events have provided me with some of my greatest golf memories,” Els said.
Els would be able to draw from non-European players such as Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh and Mike Weir, all with extensive Presidents Cup experience. Clarke has the likes of Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Miguel Angel Jimenez among active players on the PGA Tour Champions.
“I think it will be extremely competitive. Guys want to win because it’s in their blood,” Furyk said. “But I think we’ll all enjoy it.”
Europe has dominated the Americans in the Ryder Cup, winning nine of the last 12, even when Americans had the higher-ranked players. Furyk recalls that while the Americans have won all but two of the Presidents Cup (one was a tie), the International team often had as strong a team on paper when Els and Singh and Greg Norman were at their best.
Intersport said it is in preliminary talks with potential courses in central and south Florida, along with television partners and title sponsors.