Harrington welcomes US Skipper Stricker into Ryder Cup fold

Bernie McGuire
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Harrington welcomes US Skipper Stricker into Ryder Cup fold

Jim Furyk & Steve Stricker / Image from Getty Images 

2020 European Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington has welcomed the news that Steve Stricker will serve as the United States Ryder Cup Team Captain for the 43rd Ryder Cup match, which will be played next September at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Reports emerged yesterday that the extremely popular 51-year old, not only Wisconsin born and bred but still in residence some two hours from the host venue, was a shoe-in to replace funky swinger, Jim Furyk as US Captain. Well now it’s been confirmed and Harrington was one of the first to congratulate his now rival on Twitter.

“Congrats Steve,” said Harrington. “Looking forward to your Wisconsin hospitality and a great match at Whistling Straits.”

With a wealth of Ryder Cup experience between the pair – Stricker has played in three Ryder Cups (2008, 2010 and 2012) while he has matched Harrington in being a vice-captain on three occasions (2014, 2016 and 2018) – there’s sure to be a healthy rivalry when two great golfing minds come head to head.

Stricker has also played on five winning US Presidents Cup teams and was captain of the victorious 2017 USA side, while just last week he was selected by 2019 USA Presidents Cup Captain, Tiger Woods to be a vice-captain later this year in Australia.

“Steve Stricker’s career has long established a place of prominence in American golf,” said PGA of America President, Suzy Whaley at the announcement in Milwaukee.

“Yet, he’s as relevant as ever, as evidenced by three wins last year on the PGA Tour Champions. He has a wonderful ability to connect with players of all ages. Steve’s vision for his Captaincy is laser-focused and we are elated to have this hometown favourite as our U.S. Ryder Cup Captain for 2020 at Whistling Straits.”

A 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, Stricker was understandably thrilled at the prospect of leading a US side so close to his home at the most famous biennial contest in golf.

“In our sport, in this country, there is no greater honour than to Captain the United States Ryder Cup Team,” said Stricker. “I am humbled by both the opportunity at hand and the responsibility that comes with the position. I’d like to thank the PGA Ryder Cup Committee for their belief in me.

“While we were disappointed with the result in Paris, I am confident the setback will fuel our preparations for what will take place at Whistling Straits. Europe’s talent will present a great challenge, but we will be focused on what we can accomplish together in 2020 in my home state, in front of a loyal legion of sports fans in Wisconsin. It’s going to be a memorable week.”

In his first act as Ryder Cup Captain, Stricker named Jim Furyk as the first of his Vice Captains. Furyk served as U.S. Captain in 2018 and played in nine Ryder Cups.

The selection criteria for the 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup Team was also announced. All U.S. players will have the opportunity to earn points beginning in 2019 and concluding immediately after the second FedEx Cup Play-Off event (BMW Championship) on August 23, 2020.

The four remaining slots on the U.S. Team will be Captain’s Selections and will be announced by the U.S. Captain on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, immediately following the Tour Championship.

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