Thomas Bjorn has announced changes to Europe's team selection, a few days after Jim Furyk was confirmed as America's 2018 captain. Ralph Ellis is already anticipating the 2018 Ryder Cup...
"At the moment the betting for the 2018 Ryder Cup can’t split the teams, with both at [1.99]. USA might be the holders, but they haven’t won outside of the States since 1993 so Furyk faces a huge job."
Jim Furyk's Ryder Cup record goes right back to 1997, and last summer in Hazeltine was the first time he wasn't actually playing, so maybe I'm being a bit unkind.
It's just that, whenever I think of his contribution to team USA, I can never get away from events on the first and last day at Medinah in 2012.
It began with him kicking up a row over a free drop that had been awarded to Graeme McDowell when his ball came to rest beside a water sprinkler on just the second hole. Furyk demanded the head referee be called out to adjudicate and set the tone for a nasty, niggling match that was anything but out of the spirit of golf.
And of course it ended with the poetic justice of Furyk pumping his fist for a putt he thought he'd sunk on the 16th that then lipped out, and then missing from a few feet on the 18th to hand Sergio Garcia the crucial point that set up Europe's comeback win.
The 46-year-old has a chance to erase all those things now after being named as America's captain and it will be interesting how he fares in the job. At the moment the betting for the 2018 Ryder Cup can't split the teams, with both at [1.99]. USA might be the holders, but they haven't won outside of the States since 1993 so Furyk faces a huge job.
Europe's announcement this morning of changes to their own qualifying system will make it tougher still. There's little doubt that the old way of doing things left Darren Clarke with a disadvantage going into Hazeltine.
He had to do without Alex Noren and Paul Casey who were both in form, while Danny Willett, surprise Masters champion earlier in the year, had been playing like a drain for the rest of the summer but still had enough points in the bag to be an automatic pick.
To get over that, the system is being altered so that tournaments nearer the time of the Ryder Cup will have their points weighted more heavily. Players in form, like Noren was, should no longer fall through the cracks.
And then Bjorn is getting four wildcards instead of the current three, giving him even more leeway to make sure he can field his strongest line-up. Winning back Samuel Ryder's iconic old trophy will be tough enough, without having to do it with a weakened team.
Bjorn, a vice captain at Hazeltine, saw at first hand the disadvantages created by the old system so it was no wonder that, as soon as he was appointed in December, he immediately announced a review into the way the side would be chosen.
America will also have four wildcard picks for their line-up, so more focus than ever will fall on the two captains when the time comes.
Those 2012 incidents will be rehashed and replayed. The pressure will be whether this time Furyk can see the job through to the finish.