August 06, 2014
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Tom Watson, right, named Steve Stricker as one of his Ryder Cup vice captains. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Tom Watson has named Steve Stricker, a veteran of three Ryder Cups and five Presidents Cups, as his third and final vice captain for the event that will be contested Sept. 23-28 at Gleneagles.
The announcement was made on Wednesday during Watson's press conference at Vahalla Golf Club in advance of the PGA Championship. Stricker joins Andy North and Raymond Floyd, whom Watson called his "kick-butt vice captain" in assisting the U.S. Ryder Cup boss.
"What Steve brings here is a great familiarity with the players who are on the TOUR right now," Watson said. "He's played against them, played with them, has played with them on The Ryder Cup Team and The Presidents Cup teams. So he brings a great deal of understanding of who these players are and their capabilities. That's the bottom line."
Stricker called Watson, who won five Open Championships, "Mr. Scotland."
"I think players will rally behind Tom, and I'm looking forward just to be a part of it," Stricker said. "It was an honor for him to call me and just to be a part of it, just because I was on that last time. And I think ... it still stings. I know it still stings me.
"Just to be there and try to have that opportunity to get the Cup back, and to play for Tom, for all the guys, is a dream come true."
Stricker, who ranks 38th on the current Ryder Cup points list, is 47 and a 12-time winner on the PGA TOUR. The quiet man from Wisconsin, who has cut back his schedule in the last two years to spend more time with his wife and two daughters, acknowledged getting the call to work behind the scenes did give him pause.
"I feel old, yeah," Stricker said with a grin. "The way my body feels makes me feel old, too. It's a sign of the times, I guess, that you're moving on in your career.
"But it's also rewarding, too, to get a call from Tom, and to be a part (with) Andy and Raymond; to be a part of the whole team is pretty special. ... It makes you feel like you've been out here for a while, but also the respect of Tom and these other guys to even think about having me on the team."