US skipper: Make Love, not war

  • Last Updated: September 26 2012, 19:48 BST

United States captain Davis Love expects this week's Ryder Cup contest at Medinah to be a friendly one - and stresses it is certainly not a war.

Davis Love: US captain

Military metaphors have often been used to refer to the action in the biennial contest between the US and Europe in the past, with some of Love's predecessors keen to embrace them.

The 1991 clash at Kiawah Island became known as the 'War by the Shore' while the 'Battle of Brookline' in 1999 led to bad blood between the opposing players.

There were more combat references when the US last won at Valhalla four years ago, a match preceded by an air force jet flyover, but Love this time wants to emphasise the game's underlying sense of fun.

Love said: "The flyovers are cool, just because it's loud. I think we'll probably see one again.

"But that's from football games and other things, that's just kind of cool.

"I never liked the 'War by the Shore' title and you've been hearing me say it over and over again - I've been so impressed with Jose Maria (Olazabal, Europe captain).

"Obviously he exudes class in the game, and we have had an easy relationship so far. It's been fun.

"This is not a war.

"It's a golf match, it's a friendly golf match that's grown a little bit since they started it, and it continues to be a friendly golf match."

Love, 48, has played in six previous Ryder Cups and worked as a vice captain to Corey Pavin at Celtic Manor two years ago.

He enjoys a good relationship with the Europeans and wants that to continue through the competition that begins on Friday.

He said: "Thomas Bjorn (Europe vice captain) can walk over into my room and ask me a question, like he's done today, and bring me my package that he got in his room, and it's friendly.

"There's no problem with it. This is not a war, and it won't be that."


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Love also made it clear, however, that there is also a lot of fun being had - and a lot of table tennis being played.

He is determined that his players get as much enjoyment out of the whole experience as possible and has been stressing that the Ryder Cup is a golf match, "not a war".

This on the day Ian Poulter hit the headlines for saying that come this week every two years close friends on both sides want to "kill" each other on the course.

"It's intense," Love told Press Association Sport. "Do we want to pummel them? Yes we do. We want to win.

"You know what, Ollie and I will go toe-to-toe at some point because it's intense. It'll be about carts going over a bridge or he has more carts than me or something.

"I remember Tom (Kite) with Seve (Ballesteros) once when Tom's ball was clearly on the green, but Seve asked about it and I went in and said 'OK boys, back off'.

"It was the way it was handled. Ollie and I will get testy, but it will be respectful - and for the crowd to be fair is ultimately the goal."