DETROIT. US Presidents Cup captain Davis Love III may have found America’s next winning tandem.
It’s no coincidence that Love was grouped for the first two rounds of the Rocket Mortgage Classic with young stars Cameron Young and Will Zalatoris. Former Wake Forest University teammates put on a show, especially Young, who fired a 9-to-63 on Friday to take a lead in the second round at the Detroit Golf Club.
“Well, if they’re on the team, they’re straight. It’s like Xander (Schauffele) and Patrick (Cantley), they’re like peas in a pod,” Love said. “The only thing I asked them about, you know, we had guys before that, who hung out together all the time and did everything together, but they don’t really want to play together. I said, “Do you want to play together? No, no, no, we do everything together.
“They say they play 75 percent of their training rounds together…they seem to get along really well. You can see it when after I hit and they run down the fairway, they chat all day and get comfortable with each other and give each other trouble.”
The Presidents’ Cup will take place at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte starting September 22nd.
Zalatoris, runner-up at the US Open and 13th in the Official World Golf Rankings, was ranked 10th this week.th in the US team standings, while Young, No. 19 in OWGR, is ranked 13th.th. The top six points automatically qualify for the team, and Love will have six captaincy selections to complete his team, the same number as Ryder’s US Cup captain Steve Stricker had last fall. Love said he has about 25 players on his radar.
“You need hot guys. Up until 2010, it was like Ricky Fowler had a hot finish, his stick was hot, and Corey Pavin picked him. So everything is kind of still on the radar. It’s not like he’s narrowed. We have six elections, so it’s still wide open,” he said.
But there are few hotter players on the planet than Young, who finished second at the British Open and tied for third at the PGA Championship, and recorded four second-place finishes and two-thirds in an impressive rookie campaign.
“It would be very special. I mean, I’ve been part of several teams in my life and it’s been a lot of fun,” Young said. “Every time you wear red, white and blue, it’s a special experience and I think it’s going to be a little different level for me. But yeah, I think it’s obviously nice to play well in front of him and it’s nice to just spend some time around him. He’s a great guy and has been in the game for a long time, so it was a lot of fun.”
Zalatoris won the Arnold Palmer Rookie of the Year award last season and Young looks set to be the favorite to follow suit. Perhaps the only thing Young and Zalatoris, who scored 71 points on Friday, have yet to do on the PGA Tour is win the tournament. Could this be the week for Young to lift the trophy?
Cameron is on trend. He went all the way,” Love said. “Obviously he should finish this weekend, but right now his game looks very solid.”