Ryder Cup Captains Stricker, Harrington put their own games on display
The U.S. and Europe Captains each made the cut this week at the 2021 PGA Championship.
Both of this year’s Ryder Cup captains – Padraig Harrington (Europe) and Steve Stricker (U.S.) – made the cut at the Ocean Course and played on the weekend. (For Stricker, it was his first made cut at a major since the 2018 U.S. Open.)
Known as one of the game’s best putters, Stricker said he was lost on the greens in three of the four rounds. He’ll need to work on that, as he heads from South Carolina to Tulsa to compete in the KitchenAid PGA Senior this week at Southern Hills.
“Yeah, you know, I struck the ball so nicely again today,” he said. “That had to be one of my worst putting rounds ever. I couldn’t tap it in. So that part is very frustrating.”• Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker also played dual roles at Kiawah, not only competing but spending time with their prospective Ryder Cup team players during the week. Harrington was on the practice green one day in a chipping contest with Justin Rose.
“I’m not organizing anything the week of a major,” said Harrington, “I wouldn’t do that. But I am taking more time when I see players to sit down with them and chat and just be relaxed and comfortable.”
Harrington made a nice run on Sunday, shooting 3-under 69 (tying fellow competitor and his pairing partner, Shane Lowry), working his way all the way into the top 10.
“I will say, that was probably my most enjoyable round of golf I’ve had on the golf course in a long time,” Harrington said. “It’s amazing when you play with a friend, it definitely helped both of us relax and just play golf and both of us played really well. We both could have been quite a few shots better.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been interviewed and been asked about my golf rather than The Ryder Cup.”
The 43rd Ryder Cup is slated for Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., Sept. 21-26.