The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn., is just 33 short weeks away.
On the eve of his 29th AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am start on Wednesday, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III talked about the playbook he is building for the American side that will have the team as relaxed as possible, as it tries to win the Ryder Cup for just the third time since 1999.
"We're grabbing ahold of these guys early on," Love said. "Once they're solid (looking like a lock to make the team), we can start talking about practice and team building. I've already done that with Jordan Spieth, Zach and Dustin Johnson... And at the Honda Classic in March, we're going to have a dinner with a bunch of guys. This is all part of our team building. We're not going to wait until the clothes fitting at Memorial to get together for the first time."
Love said that unlike his first go around as captain, he finds himself paying close attention to the points standings much earlier.
"There's been a lot of movement already," he said. "I've been watching from the start of the year -- Jordan got off to a great start. Jason Dufner, who I've talked about before, that was a great win for him (at CareerBuilder Challenge) to go from 32nd to eighth. Kevin Streelman, Harris English -- it's good to see them playing well and moving up. Rickie Fowler has been playing great wherever he plays. And I get to play three rounds with Brandt Snedeker this week like I did at the Sony... These guys are motivating me to do a good job."
Love is hoping this early investment in the team from the top right on down to the players will pay big dividends seven months from now.
He knows that -- as it always does -- the outcome will come down to putting, an area where the Europeans have excelled in recent history.
Love seemed poised for victory with his team at Medinah taking a healthy 10-6 lead into the Sunday singles, but the Europeans made a remarkable comeback to shatter those dreams.
"When the pressure gets on, it's harder to make putts," Love said. "That's what it comes down to. We're going to prepare the best we can and try to be relaxed this time."
After a lopsided defeat at Gleneagles in 2014, Love is hoping this year's team goes into the matches not just as prepared as possible, but also as cool and collected as possible.
"I don't think the players look back -- they look at it as an opportunity," Love said. "Dufner said it best to me at the PGA last year: 'I want to play on a winnning Ryder Cup team. It's a goal of mine.' They don't care about the past. These guys have maybe played in one or two and I know they're looking forward to winning one.
"I like what I'm seeing. Their attitudes are great," Love added. "They're not looking backwards. They're looking forward. They want to win."