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: