By nearly all accounts, the 2020 Ryder Cup, which is to be contested at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, already has its captains selected. Steve Stricker, a Wisconsin native, is the odds-on favorite to lead the American side, while Padraig Harrington is set to fill the shoes departed by the successful Thomas Bjorn.
With endorsements from Justin Rose — “I would say a three-time major champion, clearly a European legend, for me Padraig is the front-runner.” — and Rory McIlroy — “I’ve always thought Padraig would be a good captain in the United States. He’s won a lot of golf tournaments over there, he’s won a PGA Championship.” — Harrington getting the nod a foregone conclusion.
So too could be the outcome, according to Harrington’s assessment of the host venue.
Harrington laid out a compelling case for the Kohler, Wisconsin course being advantageous to the European side ahead of this week’s Turkish Airlines Open, but was careful not to place himself in the captain’s chair quite yet.
The Ryder Cup is coming to Whistling Straits.
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) October 31, 2018
“Home (course) advantage is a distinct factor in The Ryder Cup,” he said. “Thankfully, whoever is the captain next time around, is playing at Whistling Straits, which is a European-style golf course. It’s as good a golf course to go to for (the Europeans), let’s face it. If we were going to Riviera, that would be so hard for the Europeans to win on that style of golf course, just U.S. to the bone there.
“There’s so many golf courses that they could go to in the States. They should just turn up in Hazeltine every year, their cup of tea and gives (them) such an advantage. Whistling Straits, at that time of year, hopefully, it will be cold and windy for whoever is captain (of Team Europe).”
Indeed, Whistling Straits, which has hosted three PGA Championships since 2004 and none of them have been won by Americans. Vijay Singh won the PGA there in 2004, Martin Kaymer won there in 2010 and Jason Day won his lone major championship in Wisconsin in 2015.