Watson names Stricker asst. captain for Ryder Cup
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson named Steve Stricker as his third and final assistant captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles Sept. 26-28 in Perthshire, Scotland.
Stricker, 47, joins fellow Wisconsin native Andy North and Raymond Floyd in assisting Watson, who is looking to captain the U.S. to a Ryder Cup victory for the first time since 2008 at Valhalla.
After Stricker started the year at No. 26 in the U.S. Ryder Cup points standings, many believed Stricker would have no problem making Watson's team as a player. After all, he was coming off a solid 2013 season in which he finished third in the FedEx Cup playoff and began 2014 ranked seventh in the Official World Golf Ranking.
But Stricker never put together the type of season he had envisioned at the beginning of the year. He has dealt with hip and neck injuries, and after playing a limited schedule in 2014 stands 38th in Ryder Cup points and 122nd in the FedEx Cup standings.
“That was kind of the game plan all along,” North said of having Stricker make the team on points. “That he would be one of our leaders on this team, but he now can be part of that in another way. Right now, as he's saying, he's having some problems with his body, and you just can't play at the levels you can play at when your body doesn't work.”
Stricker has played in three Ryder Cups (2008, '10 and '12) and sports a 3-7-1 overall record. He went 0-4 in 2012 when the U.S. was defeated at Medinah.
Now, Stricker will take on a new role for Team USA.
“It was an honor for (Watson) to call me and just to be a part of it, just because I was on that (team) last time,” Stricker said. “It still stings. I know it still stings me. Just to be there and try to have that opportunity to get the cup back, and to play for Tom, for all the guys, is a dream come true.”