The 2018 Ryder Cup was hard to swallow for United States golf fans and players but the ever-resilient group is already looking ahead to 2020. And now they can look ahead to the direction of the team’s captain.
After weeks and months of speculation, it was finally announced that Steve Stricker will officially be the captain of the United States Ryder Cup team in 2020. The 52-year-old Stricker has already made history in his new role, as he will be the first U.S. team captain that has not won a major championship in his career. That shouldn’t be a disqualifier, however, as Stricker seems extremely qualified for the spot.
Stricker will look to follow in the footsteps of European Captains Thomas Bjorn and Paul McGinley who both won as captains without a major championship. Stricker will also look to do better as a captain as he did as a player, going 3-7-1 in his Ryder Cup appearances. Stricker has experience, however, as a 12 time PGA TOUR winner and will also have home-field advantage, since the 2020 Ryder Cup will be played at Whistling Straits in Stricker’s home state of Wisconsin.
Steve Stricker speaks with the media as he is announced as United States Ryder Cup Captain for 2020 during a press conference at Fisev Forum on February 20, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Before captaining the Ryder Cup squad, Stricker will serve as vice-captain under Tiger Woods at the Presidents Cup in the Fall and Woods had nothing but good things to say about him. “Stricks was an incredible leader in 2017, and I took a lot away from the way he served as captain that I hope to emulate in Melbourne,” Woods said earlier this month. “We have always shared a high level of trust and mutual respect.”
Stricker will have his work cut out for him even with all of the praise and home course in his favor. He will be tasked with bringing together the U.S. team that is a bit disheveled after their loss in 2018 that resulted in a lot of bickering in the media. Stricker will also have to outdo European Captain Padraig Harrington, who has three major championships on his resume.
While the Ryder Cup is a good way out still, knowing that Stricker will command the team is likely to bring some comfort to players and fans. Now, we’ll just have to wait to see who Stricker picks for his squad and hope that they can find the winner’s circle again in 2020.
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