Aug
6
2014
Tom Watson names Steve Stricker vice-captain
By Bernie D'Amato under Ryder Cup

 

During the pre-tournament press conference at the PGA Championship, Tom Watson named Steve Stricker as one of his vice-captains for the upcoming Ryder Cup. Stricker joins Raymond Floyd and Andy North as assistants to Captain Watson.

Stricker said, “I don’t like that all these guys are showing up hurt or leaving the TOUR for personal reasons. But you know, we’ve got a lot of great players still in the mix. The team hasn’t been set yet, but the guys just outside the points I know are excited to play and are trying to earn points this week.”

He added, “There’s so many good players, and whoever is on that team is surely going to have played their way in there. So I still like it. I would really like to have a healthy Tiger on that team, I know that, and I know you would, too.”

Tiger Woods’ prospects for making the team came up a few times during the conference. Tiger is 69th in the point standings, and will need to win the PGA Championship to have a chance at cracking the top-9 in order to automatically qualify.

In addition, Jason Dufner is 8th on the list, but he is having issues with his neck that could prevent him from playing to the level he is capable of.

Watson is aware of all the potential scenarios, and said, “I have to wait till things transpire up to the September 2 date that I pick the three players, and a lot of things can happen between now and then.”

The Captain is playing it close to the vest because he is going to have a tough choice with Phil Mickelson (10th), Keegan Bradley (11th), and Webb Simpson (15th) currently outside the top-9.

Who would you pick if you were Captain Watson?

–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)

Here are the top-20 for Team USA, courtesy of RyderCup.com:

1 Bubba WATSON* 6,892.638
2 Jim FURYK* 5,972.694
3 Jimmy WALKER* 5,585.405
4 Rickie FOWLER* 5,573.253
5 Matt KUCHAR* 5,114.665
6 Jordan SPIETH 4,835.827
7 Patrick REED 3,609.393
8 Jason DUFNER 3,559.720
9 Zach JOHNSON 3,532.894
10 Phil MICKELSON 3,350.338
11 Keegan BRADLEY 3,324.698
12 Brendon TODD 3,307.983
13 Ryan MOORE 3,288.872
14 Chris KIRK 3,287.883
15 Webb SIMPSON 3,155.570
16 Harris ENGLISH 3,036.069
17 Kevin NA 2,960.818
18 Matt EVERY 2,527.306
19 Erik COMPTON 2,458.793
20 Kevin STADLER 2,419.082