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Verplank, Sluman handed roles

Love drops hint that that Fowler could be handed a wildcard pick

Last Updated: 28/08/12 9:59pm

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Jeff Sluman: Also served as an assistant captain to Corey Pavin at Celtic Manor in 2010

Jeff Sluman: Also served as an assistant captain to Corey Pavin at Celtic Manor in 2010

Davis Love III has completed his backroom team for next month's Ryder Cup match by naming Scott Verplank and Jeff Suman as his final two assistant captains.

They join Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert for the match at Medinah Country Club in Chicago on September 28-30, when Europe under Jose Maria Olazabal's leadership will try to retain the trophy they won back at Celtic Manor two years ago.

Olazabal has yet to name any of his four assistants, preferring to wait until he knows certain individuals cannot make the side on points.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke are thought to be front-runners, with McGinley also being the favourite to succeed Olazabal as skipper for the 2014 contest at Gleneagles.

Love also today gave strong hints that Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk will be three of his four wild cards and that Rickie Fowler may edge Dustin Johnson for the final spot.

Stricker is Tiger Woods's obvious partner, Love said that Furyk "can be paired with anybody" and he added that Fowler and Bubba Watson were the side's clowns in Wales.

Rickie & Bubba go well

"They had a lot of fun - they loosened up our team," Love commented. "Obviously Bubba and Rickie go well together in everything they do, on and off the golf course. Maybe not that well in those videos, but they go very well together."

The pair have done a music video with Mahan, the player whose defeat to Graeme McDowell cost America defeat and who finished the American points race just outside the top eight.

He was ninth, Stricker 10th, Furyk 11th and Fowler 12th, with Johnson down in 15th after missing part of the season - including The Masters - through injury.

"We are going to need some guys with experience, that's obvious," Love added. "When you look at our top 15 or 20, some names obviously jump out at you - like Hunter has won twice this year.

"Hard to believe he didn't get in there on points with the year he's had."

Love names his choices on September 4 after the first two events of the FedEx Cup play-offs.

That gives some others the chance to impress, although Love did say that he was asked by the PGA of America not to announce anybody before then.

"We wanted September 4 to be fun," he stated.

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