Steve Stricker set to captain USA at 2020 Ryder Cup
51-year-old lives just two hours away from venue at Whistling Straits
Steve Stricker is expected to be named as US Ryder Cup captain for the 2020 match in his home state of Wisconsin. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters
Steve Stricker is expected to be named as the United States captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup in his home state of Wisconsin.
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. He will be a vice-captain to Tiger Woods at this year’s contest in Melbourne.
An official announcement will be made by the PGA of America on Wednesday, but Stricker has made no secret of his desire to try to win back the Ryder Cup following last year’s seven-point defeat at Le Golf National in Paris.
“It’d be a huge honour and being right there in my home state would be super cool,” Stricker said at this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. “To try to bring the cup back right there would be a great opportunity if they give it to me.”
Speaking before his own appointment as Europe captain, three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington was full of praise for his likely opposite number.
“This is a guy who has come back from the driver yips in golf,” Harrington said in November. “This is a guy who has become a world-class player a couple of times later on in his career without the firepower and arsenal that other players have.
“You know when you’re going up against a guy like that, that he’s mentally tough and strong.”
Stricker will be the first US captain not to have won a Major championship, but that requirement appears to have been discarded after the formation of a “task force” to examine the United States’s poor recent record in the wake of the defeat at Gleneagles in 2014.
“We’ve kind of gotten away from that qualification,” Stricker said in 2016. “Just because you won a Major doesn’t mean you’re qualified to lead a team. I think what we’re seeing here is that anything is possible now.”