2020 U.S. Ryder Cup team expected to name Steve Stricker captain on Wednesday
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
The PGA of America is set to announce the captain for the 2020 United States Ryder Cup team on Wednesday morning. A reveal that should have all the drama of a dentist appointment.
That's because said announcement has been one of the worst secrets in golf the past year, as it's widely assumed Steve Stricker will lead the American club at Whistling Straits.
Stricker, who lives just hours away from Whistling Straits in Madison, has made nine appearances as a player for the U.S. at the Ryder and Presidents Cups. He guided the red, white and blue to victory as captain for the 2017 Presidents Cup squad, and will a vice captain to Tiger Woods at this year's Presidents Cup. Stricker, who turns 52 this week, has also been an assistant for the last three Ryder Cups.
“It’d be a huge honor 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.”
Stricker's management and even-keeled demeanor were widely praised at Liberty National in 2017. European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington also lionized Stricker when discussing the 2020 Ryder Cup last fall.
"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."
However, while Stricker has won 12 times on the PGA Tour, he will be the first U.S. captain without a major championship on his resume. Not that it seems to bother him.
“We’ve kind of gotten away from that qualification,” Stricker said of the former prerequisite 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.”
The 2020 Ryder Cup begins September 25th. Though Whistling Straits has never hosted a Ryder Cup, it's served as venue to three PGA Championships, most recently in 2015.
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