Tiger Woods admits Steve Stricker was 'overwhelming' choice as Ryder Cup captain
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 20/02/19 10:25pm
Tiger Woods insisted that Steve Stricker was an "overwhelming and unanimous" choice to be charged with the responsibility of regaining the Ryder Cup for Team USA next year.
Stricker had been the firm favourite to succeed Jim Furyk since Europe reclaimed the famous gold trophy with a handsome seven-point victory in Paris last year, and he becomes the first US Ryder Cup captain who has never won a major championship.
Woods is a member of the US Ryder Cup committee that confirmed Stricker as their captain for the 2020 contest at Whistling Straits, and he is confident that they have chosen the best leader and communicator for the job.
"He was the overwhelming choice by all of us on the committee," said Woods ahead of this week's WGC-Mexico Championship. "We felt it was his time, and he was deserving of the role. What he has done as a leader in both the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup has been tremendous.
"We just thought that with his leadership, and the way the guys follow him, we thought he was the best choice as captain for 2020. The players were also unanimous in wanting Stricks as their team leader, and we felt the same way on the committee.
"Everyone knows what a nice guy he is, but beneath that exterior is a real fieriness and competitiveness, and he's also one of the most detail-orientated guys out there.
"He'll be well prepared, and very understanding of the players and great at communicating with them. He'll get their opinions, but he will put his foot down when he has to. That's an important part of the job."
Woods and Furyk, who was confirmed as a vice-captain for Wisconsin, both posted videos on social media in which they expressed their admiration for Stricker and their confidence that he will lead the team to only their third Ryder Cup victory since the turn of the century.
"I've known you for a long time, we've played together in the Cup as partners and we've won our share and lost our share," Woods said. "I've grown to absolutely love you and your family and I couldn't be more proud to see you as our new Ryder Cup captain."
Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas, who was the top scorer for Team USA with four points out of five at Le Golf National, also took to Twitter to offer their congratulations to the new captain.
European captain Padraig Harrington also welcomed the announcement, and tweeted: "Congrats Steve, looking forward to your Wisconsin hospitality and a great match at Whistling Straits."