PGA Championship Golf

Brooks Koepka watches his drive on the ninth hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) ORG XMIT: PGA248

The captains for the United States and European teams that will battle for the Ryder Cup in 2020 have formed teams to play in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans next month.

U.S. captain Steve Stricker will team with close friend and fellow Wisconsin native Jerry Kelly and European captain Padraig Harrington will partner with fellow Irishman Shane Lowry for the Zurich Classic to be played April 25-28 at TPC Louisiana.

Now in its third year of team play, the Zurich Classic has become a popular PGA Tour stop for players preparing for international events like the Presidents Cup later this year and the Ryder Cup next fall.

Fore!Kids Foundation CEO Steve Worthy made the announcement Tuesday, which came on the heels of the world’s third-ranked player, Brooks Koepka, committing to the event.

Koepka is a three-time majors winner.

As he did in 2017, the first year of the two-man team format, Koepka will team up with his younger brother, Chase, who is now on the European Tour. The Koepka brothers tied for fifth that year in the only team event on the PGA Tour.

“Having both 2020 Ryder Cup captains playing our tournament indicates the importance they see in midseason team play,” Worthy said in a news release.

Stricker has won 12 times on the PGA Tour and is a three-time Champions Tour winner.

Stricker, a five-time President Cup pick and three-time Ryder Cup player, was the captain for the Presidents Cup team that won in 2017.

Harrington won the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie in a playoff with Sergio Garcia, then won the 2008 Open Championship and PGA Championship in becoming the first European to win back-to-back major titles.

Harrington, who tied for fourth in the Zurich Classic in 2008 and tied for eighth in 2005, served as vice-captain of the European Ryder Cup teams in 2014, 2016 and 2018 before being named captain for next year’s competition at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Brooks Koepka is the reigning U.S. Open champion and 2018 PGA Tour player of the year.

That came after another big year in which he won the 2017 U.S. Open and the PGA Championship two months later.

In winning the U.S. Open last year, Koepka became the first back-to-back winner of that event since 1989 and finished the year as the world’s top-ranked golfer.


Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.