NEW YORK – Steve Stricker will be named the captain of the US 2020 Ryder Cup team on Wednesday, according to multiple reports, becoming the first American in the role without a major title.
ESPN and Wisconsin.golf reported that Stricker, a Wisconsin native whose home state will host the event next year at Whistling Straits, will be handed the post by the PGA of America.
Stricker, 51, would become the 29th US captain and be charged with reclaiming the trophy from holders Europe after the Americans were routed 17 1/2-10 1/2 last September in France. The Europeans have won four of the past five Ryder Cups.
Stricker was a member of the 2014 task force that revamped the US Ryder Cup program and has served as a vice-captain for the past three editions and served as the 2017 Presidents Cup captain when the hosts won over an International side at Liberty National.
“It would be a huge honor and being right there in my home state would be super cool,” Stricker said at the PGA Phoenix Open three weeks ago.
“To try to bring the Cup back right there would be a great opportunity if they give it to me.”
Stricker, a 12-time PGA Tour winner who has added three wins on the 50-and-over Champions circuit, went 3-7 with one halved in three Ryder Cups as a player.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was named European captain last month. He went 9-13 with three halved in six Ryder Cups from 1999-2010 and was an assistant on Europe’s past three teams.
Stricker is expected to try and keep crowd behavior civil at the biennial matchup, with the US win at Hazeltine in 2016 notable for hecklers testing Rory McIlroy and taunting Sergio Garcia for not winning a major seven months before he captured the Masters green jacket at Augusta National.
Stricker said he heard some remarks beyond sportsmanship in France aimed at US players last year as well.
“Being a US Ryder Cup vice-captain last September in France, there was also some unsavory and ‘out of order’ moments, so it seems it’s creeping in to the Ryder Cup, which is not nice,” Stricker said.
“Hopefully all will be fine next year at Whistling Straits.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)