To no one's surprise, Steve Stricker was officially announced by the PGA of America as the Ryder Cup Captain that will lead the U.S. team during the 2020 matches to be held at Whistling Straits. Stricker has the perfect pedigree and the respect of his peers that made him the obvious choice to be offered the job.
Being the U.S. captain is a tough task. With the honor comes a role filled with politics and diplomacy. How do you manage a team filled with the various independent egos of the world's greatest golfers and help them come together as a team for three days? How do you tell one of the game's greatest players that they will not be playing a match without raising the temperature in the room? How do you stand up against the outside pressure of the press and fans? In the end, the job of U.S. captain often becomes a bit thankless. If the team wins, the players get the glory and the captain gets a nod of approval. If the team loses, the captain must answer why he wasn't able to get an all-star team to come together and be successful.
Stricker certainly has the experience for the job having played in the 2008, 2010, and 2012 matches and then serving as a vice-captain in 2014, 2016, and 2018. He's also no one's fool and understands what needs to be done to be successful. His first act from the podium this morning was to announce that Jim Furyk, last year's unsuccessful captain, will serve as his vice-captain heading into the 2020 matches. While that may have raised a few eyebrows, Stricker is showing that he values Furyk's experience and presence over any possible outside pressure to move away from last year's loss.
Let the politics and diplomacy begin. Only 580 days until the first match tees off.