Reuters/Cary, North Carolina
Zimbabwe’s Nick Price will return as International team captain at the 2017 Presidents Cup while Steve Stricker was named the US team captain, the PGA Tour said yesterday.
The biennial competition, which pits a 12-man team from the US against a lineup of international players from outside Europe, will be played from Sept. 28-Oct 1 at Liberty National in New Jersey.
Price, a three-times major champion who played on five Presidents Cup teams, is seeking his first win as captain after losing in the previous two editions, including in 2015 when his International team lost by one point in South Korea.
“The close shave we had last year will motivate a lot,” Price, 59, told reporters, predicting he would have “eight or nine” of the same players on his 2017 team.
Stricker, meanwhile, will take over the US leadership for the first time, after working as an assistant for previous captain Jay Haas last year.
The US are 9-1-1 in the Ryder Cup-style competition with their only loss coming at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia in 1998.
The International team has traditionally been built around a core of world class Australian and South African players such as Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Ernie Els.
But they have struggled mostly to come up with 12-man teams that match the depth of the US.
The current world rankings suggest the International team again will have a strong core, with six players inside the top 20, including Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott, South African Louis Oosthuizen, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and South Africans Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel.
Stricker, 49, who played on five Presidents Cup teams, is certainly expecting a strong challenge.
“It’s going to be tough ... Even though we won (in 2015), it came down to the last match,” he said, adding that he would lead quietly but, hopefully, efficiently as well.
“I’m not one of those vocal kind of leaders probably. I’ve learned a lot over the years playing for different captains and I’ve seen things that work and things that haven’t worked.”
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