With the 2018 Ryder Cup in the books, it’s not too soon to start thinking about who will be the 2020 Ryder Cup captains for both the United States and Europe.
The Ryder Cup moves to the United States in 2020, with Whistling Straits in Wisconsin hosting the biennial competition for the first time. With that in mind, it’s expected Wisconsin native Steve Stricker will be named the American captain for those matches. Stricker still splits time between the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions. He finished 145th in FedEx Cup points this season despite playing just 12 official events, and he won three times on his first full year eligible for the 50-plus tour.
While he doesn’t have a major championship in hand, Stricker had his best finish at the PGA of America’s PGA Championship. He’s also been a key ally for Tiger Woods and partner in both the Ryder Cup and PGA Tour-owned Presidents Cup. He’s been an assistant captain for the Ryder Cup and led the US Presidents Cup team to (an easy) victory in 2017 over the Internationals at Liberty National in New Jersey.
With Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson set to take over in 2022 and 2024, respectively, Stricker’s in a perfect position to get the call for the American team.
The 2020 European Ryder Cup captain appears to be Padraig Harrington. The three-time major winner was an assistant this time around, and he now has a clear path to the captaincy after Lee Westwood said he would remove his name from consideration with the aim of being the captain in Italy in 2022 on home soil.
Harrington won the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, marking his second consecutive major win that year. The 47-year-old has shown signs of revitalized form in the second half of 2018, but he’ll be keen to take his turn leading a European team which continues to win the Ryder Cup at a blistering pace.
Both of these captains will likely be named in early 2019, setting up the matchup just before the official kickoff to a 20-month run to Whistling Straits.