What had been the worst-kept secret in golf – Steve Stricker is the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain – became official Wednesday in frozen Milwaukee, ending weeks of speculation not about who would follow Jim Furyk, but when the appointment would be made official.
Almost immediately after his introduction, Stricker got teary-eyed talking about being captain in his home state.
That’s Stricker, who is as real as a Wisconsin winter.
“He is the right guy at the right time,” said Jerry Kelly, a three-time PGA Tour winner and fellow Wisconsin native who has played alongside Stricker for decades.
“It’s perfect timing for people to get to know Steve Stricker. He’s not this gentle, go-about-your-business type of guy. They will see the true fire this guy has. He can corral the young guys and the old guys at the same time.
“There is nothing easygoing about him when it comes to the competition. He is an absolute animal.”
“We want to win this more than ever, and I'm here to help in any way I can.” – Steve Stricker
It’s been nearly five months since the European team won the Ryder Cup in Paris, outplaying the Americans on a golf course at Le Golf National that played to the winners’ strengths. It ended with a brushfire of controversy on the American side, the embers being ceremonially snuffed out when Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed had a man hug on the first tee at Torrey Pines last month.
Stricker was there as one of Jim Furyk’s vice captains, fairly certain his appointment...
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