Steve Stricker will captain the United States in the 2020 Ryder Cup in his home state of Wisconsin, the PGA of America has announced.
Stricker, who lives just over two hours away from the host venue of Whistling Straits, has made three appearances in the biennial contest as a player, most recently when losing all four of his matches in Europe’s victory at Medinah in 2012.
The 51-year-old, who will celebrate his birthday on Saturday, was a vice-captain at each of the last three Ryder Cups and also led the United States to victory in the 2017 Presidents Cup in New Jersey.
An emotional Stricker was close to tears as he told a press conference what it means to him to be handed the task of regaining the Ryder Cup.
“Truly a dream come true, an honour to represent the PGA, the competition itself, truly humbled by this opportunity because I’m very passionate about this competition,” Stricker said.
“Some people don’t think I’m very fiery about playing the game of golf, but deep down I’m very competitive, we want to win this more than ever and I’m here to help in any way.”
Stricker said communication with his players would be a key part of his strategy.
He said: “My biggest thing is I want to make sure all the players that make the team know what to expect from me and what I expect from them.
“While we were disappointed with the result in Paris, I am confident the setback will fuel our preparations for what will take place at Whistling Straits.
“Europe’s talent will present a great challenge but we will be focused on what we can accomplish together in 2020 in my home state, in front of a loyal legion of sports fans in Wisconsin. It’s going to be a memorable week.
“I think Whistling Straits is a great course for this competition. There are holes that are legitimate birdie holes and holes where you’ve got to suck it up and pars are going to be good. That’s going to lend itself to a good match-play course.”
Stricker immediately named 2018 skipper Jim Furyk as his first vice-captain and also revealed that he will announce all four of his wild cards at the same time, two days after the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Last year Furyk selected three of his wild cards on September 4 and his final one six days later.
“I think it’s a good move,” Stricker added. “We waited on a pick last year and that provides a few issues along the way.
“With the changes to the schedule on the PGA Tour we have three weeks between when the Ryder Cup points end (on August 23) and the Ryder Cup itself.
“We can make those selections, get everybody on the same page, formalise our team, work on the pairings and give our guys an opportunity to rest or get their games in shape if they need to.”News Now - Sport News