If U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson could name an assistant, odds are it would be Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams.
Watson has told the national media that chalk-talks with Williams have helped him devise strategy for the upcoming international golf competition, to be held Sept. 24-26 at the Belfry in Sutton Cofield, England.
Williams, an avid golfer, says he's honored that Watson, a Kansas City native and avid college basketball fan, has sought his advice.
However, KU's coach insists he wants no credit if the U.S. team outduels its European counterparts.
"No. 1, I am flattered. At the same time, I understand Roy Williams will have no part in winning the Ryder Cup," Williams said. "What it means to me is, it says a lot about Tom Watson. He is leaving no stone unturned. He's touching every base and leaving nothing to chance.
"If anybody has an idea about a situation, he wants to try it out. It's a credit to Tom, making sure he's thoroughly prepared. Whether I can help, I don't know about that."
WILLIAMS HAS met with Watson several times already this summer. They planned to visit in person again today.
"We've talked about people working in group situations," Williams said.
Developing team chemistry is where Watson has said he needs Williams' input the most. Watson has excelled as an individual on the PGA Tour the past 22 years and has represented the U.S. in the Ryder Cup four times, but he has never coached the 12-man team.
So he's picking Williams' brain about team play, since Williams annually molds 12 players into one of the country's top basketball squads.
In the Ryder Cup's four-ball competition, scoring is based on the better ball of each two-man team. The Europeans went 4-0 in four-ball in 1985, '87 and '89.
``Obviously, they play very well together,'' Watson told the Associated Press.
In the foursomes competition, each member of a two-man team plays alternate shots on the same ball.
FOUR MATCHES under each format are scheduled a week from today and Saturday. Twelve singles matches will played a week from Sunday.
The U.S. snapped a six-year drought by winning the 1991 Ryder Cup. If Watson's efforts mean anything, America will make it two in a Roy -- make that two in a row -- next weekend.
"I said to ESPN (in an interview to be aired next week), you see a guy like Tom Watson who has won everything you can possibly win...the best golfer in the world...to see that look in his eye, it's the best thing in the world," Williams said.
U.S. team members are: Paul Azinger, Fred Couples, Tom Kite, Lee Janzen, Corey Pavin, Payne Stewart, John Cook, Davis Love III, Chip Beck and Jim Gallagher, plus Watson's wild-card selections, Ray Floyd and Lanny Wadkins.
Bernard Gallacher of England will captain the European team. Members are: Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Joakim Haeggman, Bernard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Constantino Rocca, Peter Baker, Mark James, Barry Lane, Sam Torrance and Colin Montgomerie.