Injured Jim Furyk relishes role as Presidents Cup cheerleader

INCHEON, South Korea -- Jim Furyk showed how much the Presidents Cup meant to him. He came to South Korea without his golf clubs.

Furyk easily qualified for the U.S. team, but he has a deep bone bruise in his left wrist. He missed the last two FedEx Cup playoff events to try to get ready for the Presidents Cup, and then decided on Friday he wouldn't be able to play. Captain Jay Haas asked if he wanted to be an assistant, and Furyk jumped on a plane.

"This week has two components, really," Furyk said Wednesday. "It's an honor for us to represent our country. It's the greatest to go out there and compete in an event like this, test your ability under a lot of pressure on a big stage. I'm missing that part. But the other component really is the camaraderie, the hanging out in the team room, the talking about pairings, just really having a good time with your boys."

It was not lost on some of the Americans, especially those who have heard for years that a team event every year (the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup) is a burden.

Furyk's decision dispelled that.

"To come over here hurt, knowing that he wants to be putting, he wants to be hitting tee shots, knowing that he can't, that just shows how much he really wants to be a part of these teams and how much all these veteran guys want to be a part of these teams," Bubba Watson said. "You give nothing but utmost respect and love for him because it proves veterans want to be here."

There's two more components.

Furyk has been a staple of American team events dating to the 1997 Ryder Cup. The only team he missed was in 2013 at the Presidents Cup, when Fred Couples decided to use a pick on 20-year-old Jordan Spieth.

The 45-year-old Furyk is certain to be a captain, so it doesn't hurt to be around Haas and his assistants -- Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, three-time Presidents Cup captain Couples and Steve Stricker -- to work on pairings and other intangibles that go into the week.

The other?

"If I were home this week, I'd be miserable," Furyk said.