Steve Stricker, the captain of the United States Ryder Cup team, has yet to make a single stirring address to his players this week in Paris. He has also abstained from giving them motivational films, which was something that many of his predecessors enjoyed doing as well.
When Stricker was a Ryder Cup participant, as opposed to a non-playing captain, he believed that such methods just served to make him feel anxious about the competition.
During the 43rd Ryder Cup, which will begin on Friday morning, Stricker will draw inspiration from more fundamental sources for his team: He is in charge of the most youthful U.S. team in decades, and he is well aware that those players have spent the better part of their lives hearing about Europe’s unwavering supremacy in the tournament.
It doesn’t take a speech or the booming theme music from “Rocky” to awaken the Americans, eight of whom are under the age of 30. When it comes to the United States team, Tony Finau, who is 32 years old and a veteran in the sport, said on Thursday, “There’s additional motivation or extra desire to alter the culture of American golf.”
While Stricker and European captain Padraig Harrington announced the pairings for Friday’s four foursome matches late Thursday afternoon at the tournament’s opening ceremony, some details about the latest chapter of a biennial competition that dates back to 1927 and was postponed one year due to the coronavirus pandemic finally emerged.
There were few shocks in the pairings for the Europeans, who are used to seeing their compatriots compete against one another in competition. Spaniards Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, as well as Englishmen Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick, have been paired for the first match of the tournament in Abu Dhabi.