Steve Stricker referred to as himself old-fashioned. He has been, in spite of everything, a giant a part of the U.S. Ryder Cup effort over the previous decade.
They’ve additionally been part of a whole lot of shedding.
Sure, the U.S. has dominated the Presidents Cup, and these guys had been there for that, too. Nevertheless it was a slim win at Royal Melbourne for Woods two years in the past as a enjoying captain, because it was for the U.S. in the identical occasion in 2015 in South Korea.
In the meantime, the U.S. has misplaced 9 of the previous 12 Ryder Cups. What gave the impression to be a robust staff in 2018 acquired smoked in France.
So what did Stricker do?
He handed on the longtime mandate of expertise and went with youth.
Six members of his staff, which can face Europe beginning Sept. 24 in Wisconsin, are Ryder Cup rookies — Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Harris English, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler.
With an opportunity to take expertise with Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, Stricker as a substitute opted for 4 rookies amongst his six picks: Schauffele, English, Berger and Scheffler. Neither English nor Scheffler has performed in both the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup.
“What’s neat to see that’s they’ve all performed nice golf all through an prolonged time frame,” Stricker stated Wednesday throughout a information convention asserting his captain’s picks. “That is what made the alternatives in my eyes fairly straightforward. After consulting with the six guys that made the staff and my assistant captains, we landed on these six guys fairly simply simply due to their kind, the way in which they match Whistling Straits; their demeanors on and off the golf course and within the staff room, I’ve skilled that with a few these guys.
“So it simply appeared like a pure, excellent match for these six to affix the remainder of them.”
And Stricker, who stated he relied on his vice captains for the analytics of all of the gamers’ video games, got here prepared with an attention-grabbing stat: Since 2008, the yr Stricker made his Ryder Cup debut as a participant, U.S. Ryder Cup rookies are 40-29-17.
“We want to the perfect gamers to carry out right here at Whistling Straits, and these six guys that we picked, we really feel like match Whistling Straits to a T,” Stricker stated. “A few of them aren’t actually rookies. They’ve performed in previous Presidents Cup groups. A few of these guys have match-play competitors below their belt as nicely. So we’re excited. So we do not actually really feel like they’re rookies.”
Scheffler was the decide that can get probably the most scrutiny. Along with by no means enjoying in a Cup competitors, he has not gained on the PGA Tour. Rickie Fowler is the latest decide, in 2010, to not have gained previous to enjoying in a Ryder Cup. Jeff Overton additionally made that staff as a rookie.
Usually, captains search for guys who’ve been there, finished that. It hasn’t at all times labored. Working example: Woods and Mickelson went a mixed 0-6 in 2018.
However Scheffler has loads of positives to notice. He has been within the prime 20 previously six main championships, together with 4 top-10 finishes. As Stricker identified, he took out Europe’s Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm on the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play.
That match is just not the Ryder Cup, nevertheless it’s attention-grabbing that Stricker and his staff felt it was vital. And it is not like he has to hold the staff. Scheffler will probably be slotted right into a predetermined staff matchup for both four-ball or foursomes.
Stricker can also be nicely conscious that Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth went 3-1 in Paris; that Schauffele and Cantlay went 2-2 and 2-0 in foursomes in Melbourne; that Dustin Johnson has top-10 finishes at two PGA Championships performed at Whistling Straits. That Brooks Koepka, if wholesome, and Tony Finau provide loads of firepower. And that is earlier than we get to Morikawa, the Open champion and one of many recreation’s premier iron gamers.
There are quite a few prospects, and Stricker is extra targeted on their success within the recreation over the previous two years than any perceived points with not having competed in a Ryder Cup.
And let’s face it, aside from 2016 when the U.S. romped to victory at Hazeltine, there was little to cheer about for the Individuals. A few of their greatest gamers in shedding years have been rookies — in 2010, Rickie Fowler; in 2012, Keegan Bradley was a drive; in 2014, each Reed and Spieth fared nicely.
Ultimately, Stricker ended up with the highest 10 guys in Ryder Cup factors, a system that goes again greater than two years. Quibble all you need about Reed, however he’s 0-7 in staff matches on the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup with out Spieth as his associate. Simpson did not make it to the Tour Championship this yr.
So Berger and Scheffler step up with an excellent alternative. They’re newer and youthful.
Stricker is relying on it.