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Sunday 20 October 2019

'Deserving' Stricker right fit as US skipper - Woods

Tiger Woods. Photo: AP
Tiger Woods. Photo: AP

James Corrigan

Tiger Woods has welcomed the confirmation of Steve Stricker as the United States Ryder Cup captain, labelling his friend and sometime putting coach as "the overwhelming choice".

Woods is a member of the committee which selected Jim Furyk's successor and despite the 51-year-old becoming the first American without a Major to take the role, Woods is certain they have made the right choice for next year's match at Whistling Straits.

Stricker has been as an assistant captain in the past three Ryder Cups and was captain of the winning US Presidents Cup team two years ago. The avowed Wisconsinite, who lives only an hour from the course, has named Furyk as his first vice-captain to try to win back the Cup from Pádraig Harrington's Europe team.

"All of us felt that it was his time, that he was deserving," Woods said.

"What he has done as the leader both in the Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups has been tremendous and we just thought that with his leadership and the way the guys follow Stricks, that he would be the best captain there is for 2020. The players were unanimous, they wanted him as their team leader and we felt the same way on the committee. Everyone knows he's such a nice guy, but beneath all of that exterior is this fieriness and he's also one of the more detail-oriented guys that we know of."

Woods was talking in Mexico City, where he will play in today's first round of the WGC Mexico. It is his first appearance in the country, but despite his eagerness to win his 19th World Golf Championship event, Woods made no secret of the fact that his eye is already on the Masters in April.


"Augusta started [being on my radar] probably back in October, November," Woods said. "Thinking about shots I would need, clubs I'd be using for the event. Last year's preparation was different and in previous years it was non-existent."

Woods is joined at Club de Golf Chapultepec by Rory McIlroy and four of the world's top five with Shane Lowry also in contention.

Justin Rose, England's world No 1, is the most conspicuous absentee, choosing to skip the event after playing in Saudi Arabia earlier this month. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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