Ryder Cup: Steve Stricker feels young USA side can dominate for years to come | Golf News

“Even Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together; that’s how much it came together. That shows a lot about this whole team. This is a new era for USA golf. They are young, they came with a lot of passion, a lot of energy and a lot of game.”

Last Updated: 27/09/21 2:01am


Steve Stricker compared guiding Team USA to a record-breaking Ryder Cup victory at Whistling Straits to winning a major and explains how it felt to captain the American side.

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Steve Stricker compared guiding Team USA to a record-breaking Ryder Cup victory at Whistling Straits to winning a major and explains how it felt to captain the American side.

Steve Stricker compared guiding Team USA to a record-breaking Ryder Cup victory at Whistling Straits to winning a major and explains how it felt to captain the American side.

Steve Stricker heralded “a new era” for US golf after overseeing a 19-9 demolition of Europe at the Ryder Cup with one of the youngest, and strongest teams in the history of the competition.

The USA captain insisted his players made his job as stress-free as possible, with unflinching team spirit and meticulous preparation resulting in a record margin of victory at Whistling Straits.

Stricker had the luxury of having eight of the world’s top-10 players in his squad, and their quality and firepower was far too much for Europe to handle in a contest that was one-sided from the opening session.

Steve Stricker is congratulated by Padraig Harrington after Team USA romped to victory

Steve Stricker is congratulated by Padraig Harrington after Team USA romped to victory

“They had a mission this week and you could tell, they played great and they came together,” said Stricker, who was delighted that Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka put their feud to one side for the week. “Even Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together; that’s how much it came together. That shows a lot about this whole team.

“This is a new era for USA golf. They are young, they came with a lot of passion, a lot of energy and a lot of game. They are just so good. So it’s exciting to see these guys and exciting for us in Wisconsin to experience this. It was a special week all the way.

“I’ve said it a number of times all week long about how these guys came together, and how they started two weeks ago when they showed up for the practice round. I could see the camaraderie then. I could see the willingness to prepare and get ready for this event prior to us even arriving. It’s a special group of guys.”

Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka put their rivalry aside to embrace with the Ryder Cup trophy after Team USA's record victory at Whistling Straits.

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Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka put their rivalry aside to embrace with the Ryder Cup trophy after Team USA’s record victory at Whistling Straits.

Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka put their rivalry aside to embrace with the Ryder Cup trophy after Team USA’s record victory at Whistling Straits.

Stricker admitted that he was wary of a traditional European fightback in Saturday afternoon’s fourballs, which the hosts began with a six-point lead that remained intact when they shared the session 2-2.

“I figured if they swept us, which it’s happened to us before, they could come within two and it would be a two-point match going into the final day,” he added. “So two points on Saturday afternoon was a huge deal for us to feel a little bit more comfortable.

“I could see it in these guys’ eyes last night when we left here, and after just saying a couple of words, I could tell they felt like there was unfinished business, and they came out and they were ready today. They played great, and I could see they wanted it all. They wanted more.”

Padraig Harrington praised the effort of his side and defended his decision-making after Team USA claimed a record-breaking Ryder Cup victory.

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Padraig Harrington praised the effort of his side and defended his decision-making after Team USA claimed a record-breaking Ryder Cup victory.

Padraig Harrington praised the effort of his side and defended his decision-making after Team USA claimed a record-breaking Ryder Cup victory.

Stricker also praised his team for needing little guidance in embracing the importance and prestige of the Ryder Cup, insisting they quickly found the right balance between being relaxed, and being “fired up” for competition.

“I’ve played a lot of golf with some of these guys over the years, so I know their personalities,” he said. “I just tried to make it easy for them, and that was kind of my way back in 2017 on the Presidents Cup team, as well, and make it relaxed.

“I really had nothing planned for the week, no speeches from anybody, no videos. I mean, we all know it’s a huge event as it is. We don’t need to have some famous person of highest stature come in and tell us how important it is and we need to get fired up and do this and do that.

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“Everybody knows how important it is, and they want to win. Every team I’ve been a part of, player or a captain, they want to win, bottom line. We all want to do our best, we don’t want to let anybody down.

“And they’re just so talented, their average World Ranking is 8.9. That’s unheard of, out of 12 guys. So it was really just getting out of their way and letting them go. We provided an atmosphere and camaraderie that they enjoyed and wanted to be a part of.

“They all want to win, and it showed and they prepared for it. It was a great bunch of guys, and I really had a great time and they deserve it.”

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