Winning the Ryder Cup golf tournament has proven to be a tough goal to achieve for the United States in recent decades, but the team will now turn to two-time major champion Zach Johnson to get the job done, as he will serve as the captain at the 2023 event in Italy.
Johnson, a 12-time winner on the PGA TOUR and a five-time member of the Ryder Cup team, will be tasked with winning the event on European soil, something no United States team has done in nearly three decades.
“It’s going to be hard,” he said. “But it’s also just a beautiful opportunity to go out there and give these guys an avenue to be themselves and play with freedom, and that’s how I’m going to approach it.”
According to ESPN, Steve Stricker will serve as an assistant to Johnson at the event after winning the most recent Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
Johnson has won 12 career tournaments on the PGA Tour, and has won a pair of major championships, capturing the 2007 Masters and the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews.
The veteran Ryder Cupper has played in the event five times, notching nine points in the tournament. He was a member of the 2016 United States team that won at Hazeltine in Minnesota, scoring a decisive 17-11 victory.
Johnson racked up three points for the United States team at Medinah in 2012, but watched as the European squad stormed back from a four-point deficit on the final day to capture the trophy.
The Americans will hope to make it back-to-back triumphs in the Ryder Cup after throttling Europe 19-9 at Whistling Straits in 2021, but it’s going to be a tall order, as they have not won a Ryder Cup played in Europe since all the way back at The Belfry in 1993.
Europe has won four of the last six Ryder Cups and seven of the last 10, including the 2018 event in Paris that the European squad won in runaway fashion.
The 2023 Ryder Cup will be contested at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy, marking the first time that the event has been played on Italian soil.