Steve Stricker introduced as 2020 USA Ryder Cup Captain

Jul 20, 2017; Southport, Merseyside, ENG; Steve Stricker walks off on the fifth tee during the first round of The 146th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Steve Flynn/USA TODAY Sports

Steve Stricker introduced as 2020 USA Ryder Cup Captain

Golf

Steve Stricker introduced as 2020 USA Ryder Cup Captain

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Steve Stricker was introduced as the 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Wednesday.

The move to make Stricker the 29th U.S. Ryder Cup captain was expected. Stricker has been an assistant captain three times and would be leading the United States in his home state of Wisconsin at Whistling Straits.

“I am truly humbled by this opportunity,” an emotional Stricker said. “I’m very competitive. We want to win this more than ever and I’m here to help in any way I can. It’s truly an honor.”

Stricker, who turns 52 on Saturday, will be the first-ever U.S. Ryder Cup captain without a major championship victory. He also played on three Ryder Cup teams.

“Communication is my biggest thing,” he said. “Being up front with (the players) and knowing what I expect from them is the biggest thing.”

He said his biggest challenges will be informing players who don’t make the team, followed by determining which players will sit and how he will communicate with those players who are not playing on a particular day.

Stricker has an intimate knowledge of Whistling Straits, which lies on the shores of Lake Michigan in Kohler, Wisc., and likes its makeup for the Ryder Cup.

“It looks like an ocean out there, not one of the Great Lakes,” he said. “It’s challenging to the eye.”

The Americans will be challenging for the Cup they lost 17 ½ to 10 ½ at Le Golf National in Paris last fall. U.S. captain Jim Furyk came under fire after the U.S. loss by Patrick Reed and others for the way he handled his players and pairings.

All four captain’s picks will be announced three weeks prior to the event on Sept. 1, 2020, which marks a change from the past. Stricker said the move will allow the team more time to prepare and gel, given the new PGA Tour schedule. Among his vice captains will be Furyk.

Among the golfers to congratulate Stricker early Wednesday on his new post were John Daly, who texted Stricker in the midst of his press conference, and Tiger Woods.

“He’s a nice guy but beneath that is a fire,” Woods said at his pre-WGC-Mexico Championship news conference. “He was the overwhelming choice for us on the committee.”

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