NEW YORK – Steve Stricker will captain the US 2020 Ryder Cup team, becoming the first American in the role without a major title to his name, the PGA said on Wednesday.
Stricker, 51, is a native of Wisconsin, the state that will host the event next year at Whistling Straits.
Stricker has been charged with reclaiming the trophy from holders Europe after the Americans were routed 17.5-10.5 last September in France. The Europeans have won four of the past five Ryder Cups.
He was a member of the 2014 task force that revamped the US Ryder Cup programme, and has served as a vice-captain for the past three editions.
He was also the 2017 Presidents Cup captain when the hosts won over an International side at Liberty National.
“In our sport, in this country, there is no greater honour than to captain the United States Ryder Cup team,” Stricker said.
“I am humbled by both the opportunity at hand and the responsibility that comes with the position.”
Stricker said he was confident the US team could bounce back from their rout in France last year.
“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.”
Our 2020 Captain🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/wGixQ3Spfj— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) February 20, 2019
“Steve Stricker’s career has long established a place of prominence in American golf,” said PGA of America President Suzy Whaley, who joined Stricker for a news conference in Milwaukee.
“Yet, he’s as relevant as ever – as evidenced by three wins last year on the PGA Tour Champions – and he has a wonderful ability to connect with players of all ages.
“Steve’s vision for his captaincy is laser-focused, and we are elated to have this hometown favourite as our US Ryder Cup Captain for 2020 at Whistling Straits.”
Stricker, a 12-time PGA Tour winner who has added three wins on the 50-and-over Champions circuit, went 3-7 with one halved in three Ryder Cups as a player.
LIVE 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Announcement. https://t.co/oF0U5nIj3K— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) February 20, 2019
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was named European captain last month. He went 9-13 with three halved in six Ryder Cups from 1999-2010, and was an assistant on Europe’s past three teams.
Stricker is expected to try and keep crowd behaviour civil at the biennial matchup, with the US win at Hazeltine in 2016 notable for hecklers testing Rory McIlroy and taunting Sergio Garcia for not winning a major seven months before he captured the Masters green jacket at Augusta National.AFP