Captains bring Ryder Cup experience to the team room
Ryder Cup Captains Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington have combined for nine appearances as players in the biennial meeting between the United States and Europe. This week they'll play a different role, as each will captain their respective Team in the 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup being held at Whistling Straits, where Europe is looking to retain the Cup.
Here’s a look back at the Ryder Cup history for both Stricker and Harrington, from playing participants to leaders in the team room:
Stricker was named U.S. Ryder Cup Captain in February 2019. The 54-year-old was selected as the 29th captain of the U.S. Team and chosen to lead the Americans in his home state of Wisconsin, with the matches being staged at Whistling Straits in Kohler.
Stricker was a three-time member of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team as a player. He competed in 2008, 2010 and 2012, compiling a record of 3-7-1 in 11 total matches played. As a rookie in 2008 at Valhalla, Stricker contributed a half-point to the American total, as the U.S. won back the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1999.
In 2010, Stricker hit his stride in his second Ryder Cup appearance as he teamed up with Tiger Woods. The duo won their Friday Four-Ball match, 2 up, and earned a convincing 4-and-3 victory in Saturday Foursomes. Stricker also delivered on Sunday with a victory in the first match of the day, defeating Lee Westwood in Singles, 2 and 1, to finish the week at Celtic Manor with a 3-1-0 mark.
Stricker has 12 wins on the PGA Tour, one win on the European Tour and seven victories on the PGA Tour Champions. His best result in a major came at the 1998 PGA Championship, when he finished second behind Vijay Singh at Sahalee.
Stricker named Fred Couples, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Davis Love III and Phil Mickelson as his Vice Captains this week at Whistling Straits.
The Irishman was named European Ryder Cup Captain in January 2019. The 50-year-old is a six-time participant who played on four winning Teams. He competed in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Harrington played a total of 25 matches and earned 10.5 points for the Europeans, with an individual record of 9-13-3.
Harrington made his rookie debut at Brookline Country Club in 1999. While that year’s Ryder Cup will be best remembered for the Americans' overwhelming comeback in Singles, Harrington won one of the few points for the European side that Sunday. Harrington defeated Mark O’Meara, 1 up, to earn one of the 3.5 points for Europe on Sunday at Brookline. It set the tone for Harrington in Singles, as he often delivered in the one-on-one format early in his career. He handily defeated Mark Calcavecchia, 5 and 4, en route to Europe’s victory in the subsequent Ryder Cup at The Belfry in 2002.
Harrington’s standout performance came in 2004 when he found success alongside Colin Montgomerie. The duo earned 2 points together and Harrington captured another point alongside fellow Irishman Paul McGinley. Harrington once again delivered on Sunday with a 1-up victory over Jay Haas, finishing the week with a 4-1-0 record while helping Europe to victory on foreign soil. His all-time Singles record sits at 3-3-0.
Harrington is a three-time major champion, including the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, who has six PGA Tour wins and 15 victories on the European Tour.
Harrington’s Vice Captains this week are Luke Donald, Robert Karlsson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson.