-- Davis Love III has been on every American Ryder Cup team since 1993 and was not about to play the blame game Sunday night in the wake of his team's stunning nine-point defeat to Europe in the 35th Ryder Cup.
"You can't do anything differently," Love said. "For Hal [Sutton], or Tom Kite who didn't win or Curtis Strange who didn't win, or Ben Crenshaw who was close to not winning in 1999, what do you do differently? You take 12 of the best players in the world and you put them out there and they've got to play. You could do all kind of pairings, but if Tiger Woods, Davis Love and Phil Mickelson don't lead this team, it's hard for the next three or four guys to do it and it's hard for the rookies."
Love and several of his teammates also insisted they never considered themselves the favorites here, even if they were playing on U.S. soil, on an American-style course, with a roster that included five major championship winners and four players in the top 10 in the world rankings.
"If we tell them they're the favorites next time and we're the underdogs -- we know we are," Love said. "If they keep bringing the Cup back on their airplane, we are the underdog and they have a half-point lead starting off. That's the difference. . . . It doesn't matter who the favorite is. You still have to go out and play."
Rookie Funk Wants Another Try
Fred Funk had a disappointing 0-3 record here this week as a 48-year-old Ryder Cup rookie, but the former University of Maryland golf coach said the experience was "so fantastic" he plans to try to make the 2006 Cup team that will try to win it back at the K Club in Ireland before heading off to Senior golf when he turns 50.
"This and the Presidents Cup [last September] are the highlights of my golf career," Funk said. "It's the neatest thing I've ever done. It's total team. If you're 4 up or 4 down, your teammates are pulling so hard for you. I was on the 16th fairway today and Chris DiMarco made a putt to stay alive and I saw him and gave him a fist pump, and he gave me one. We'd already lost the Cup, but we both had that feeling.
"I played extremely well the last two days. I had three bad holes on Friday, and it cost me. But I'm pleased with the way I handled the pressure. The only thing I regret is that I'll probably get ridiculed by certain people in the media. I wanted to contribute badly, and not winning a point really hurts. But after experiencing this, I want to do it again. It's very, very special."
Who'll Captain the Ship?
European captain Bernhard Langer said he would like to try to make the European squad in two years, but would be happy to yield the captaincy to someone else. Nick Faldo has often been mentioned as the next possible captain, though Langer's work this week could earn him another two-year stint, if not in 2006 then after that.
The man most often mentioned as the next American captain is Mark O'Meara, a two-time major champion and a five-time Cup player.
Woods: Not Enough Putts
Tiger Woods came to the media center for the first time Sunday evening and was asked about his pairing with Phil Mickelson in the first two rounds Friday, when they lost both their matches. They didn't play together again.
"I thought we gelled," he said. "We just didn't make enough putts. . . . When it comes right down to it, if you look at the highlights of the whole Ryder Cup in general, you'll see the Europeans making just a boatload of putts."