Steve Stricker rules out a second spell as Ryder Cup captain

‘This is a new era for USA golf. They are young. They are just so good’

Team USA team celebrate winning the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Photograph: Anthony Behar/PA

Team USA team celebrate winning the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Photograph: Anthony Behar/PA

 

Steve Stricker has ruled out a second spell as Ryder Cup captain, despite leading the United States to a record victory over Europe at Whistling Straits.

World number two Dustin Johnson became the first American player since Larry Nelson in 1981 to compile a perfect 5-0 record as the home side cruised to a 19-9 success, the biggest winning margin in the modern era.

Europe won by nine points at Oakland Hills in 2004 and The K Club in 2006, while the United States also won by the same margin at Walton Heath in 1981.

Asked if he would like to captain the side again, with their defence of the trophy scheduled for Marco Simone Golf Club in Italy in 2023, Stricker said: “I don’t think it’s going to happen.

“It’s mapped out and there’s guys in positions to be the next captains. It was an unbelievable experience, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad it’s over.”

Two-time major winner Zach Johnson, who was one of Stricker’s vice-captains in Wisconsin, is favourite to be given the task of leading the US to a first win on European soil since 1993.

And Johnson’s opposite number is likely to be Lee Westwood, who has made no secret of his desire to succeed Padraig Harrington as Europe’s captain after making his record-equalling 11th appearance as a player at Whistling Straits.

Westwood became emotional in the post-event press conference as he spoke about winning his singles match against Harris English with his son Sam on his bag.

“It might be the last match I’ve played in the Ryder Cup,” Westwood said. “I’d rather it wasn’t, but I’m 49 next April, and the likelihood is it is. I got to share it with my son. Won my point.

“They are special moments out there. We get to represent Europe out there this week. It’s a big place. The other team gets to represent the USA. Big place. Represent a lot of people. If you haven’t got pride and passion, then it’s not for you. Don’t even bother turning up.”

Stricker said the unity within his team was emphasised by Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka wanting to play together at Whistling Straits.

DeChambeau and Koepka’s highly public feud has been a key theme of this golfing year. There were questions over whether this mutual antipathy could derail the US. Koepka and DeChambeau were not a foursomes or fourball pairing but, Stricker revealed, not for the want of trying.

“Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together. That’s how much it came together,” said Stricker. “That shows a lot about this whole team.

“These guys all came together. Two weeks ago they came together. Showed me a lot about this group of guys. They all showed up for the practice rounds, all the assistant captains showed up at the practice rounds.

“They had a mission this week and you could tell. They played great and they came together.”

Stricker fired a warning to Europe that the US could dominate this event for years to come. This marked just a second US success in six Ryder Cup attempts.

“From day one it was about out-preparing (Europe), getting the guys here, getting them on the same page,” Stricker added. “This is a new era for USA golf. They are young. They come with a lot of passion, a lot of energy, a lot of game. They are just so good. So it’s exciting to see these guys and exciting for us in Wisconsin to experience this.” - Guardian and wires

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