GARDENS OF PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – Last year, the Americans won the Ryder Cup with the widest margin of victory over Europe, and their new captain sees little reason to change much.
On Monday, Zach Johnson was presented as the 30th American captain, the next in line to try to halt the United States’ three-decade streak of losing the Ryder Cup on European territory.
When the Americans won at The Belfry in 1993, Johnson was still in high school. Since their 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits last September behind a young team with staying power, expectations have never been higher.
The 2023 matches will be held at Marco Simone, Italy.
“I have a lot of fun competing over there.” I enjoy pushing myself to new limits. “I enjoy making people uncomfortable,” Johnson stated. “It’s going to be difficult.” But it’s also a great opportunity for me to go out there and give these guys a chance to be themselves and play freely, and that’s how I’m going to approach it.”
When the last Ryder Cup was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the PGA Tour schedule was so unpredictable, the US team went from eight automatic qualifiers and four captain’s picks to six of each.
For 2023, Johnson indicated the format will remain the same: six qualifiers and six choices. He also stated that the scoring system would not change, with points available only at the four majors, The Players Championship, and the lone World Golf Championships tournament currently on the calendar this year.
Steve Stricker transitions from captain to one of Johnson’s assistants in Italy, following the parameters established by the Ryder Cup Task Force in 2014.
Following Lefty’s harsh remarks about the Saudis supporting a possible alternative league and revealing how he was attempting to manipulate change on the PGA Tour, Johnson skirted any questions regarding Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson was a shoo-in to be Bethpage Black’s captain in 2025, and subsequent captains often serve as assistants.
“Given where we are right now, I have no idea what my vice captains will be or who will be on this team,” Johnson added.
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