Steve Stricker has had some restless nights of late.
The next five won’t be any easier.
The U.S. captain for the Presidents Cup is facing the biggest week of his tenure as the top 10 players in the standings will earn automatic berths to represent the Stars & Stripes with the conclusion on Labor Day of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. It’s the second of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Two days later, Stricker will make two at-large selections to fill out his squad.
It will be the best of days and the worst of days for Stricker.
“It’s going to be a good week in some regards because we’re going to finalize the team and we get to tell two guys they made the team,” Stricker said in a phone interview from his Wisconsin home. “But on the flip side, I’m going to have to tell some guys they didn’t make the team. That’s going to be hard. I’m not looking forward to it. It’s been keeping me awake at times.”
Nick Price, the captain for the Internationals, is in the same situation. The teams meet Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey. The USA is 9-1-1 in the biennial match play tussle and won 15½-14½ in South Korea in 2015, a contest decided on the final hole of the final singles match.
Stricker said he will be “glued” to the TV and the PGA Tour’s digital streaming device watching all four days of the Dell Technologies Championship. He will also be in regular contact with his four assistants — 2018 Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and Davis Love III. And he’ll be pouring over statistics to help him make his decision.