Steve Stricker paid his dues to become a Ryder Cup captain, and it had nothing to do with winning a major.
He didn't make his first team until he was 41 in the 2008 matches at Valhalla, a rare U.S. victory, and played in two more. He spent the next six years in the back room as an assistant captain to Tom Watson, Davis Love III and Jim Furyk, and he was captain of the formidable U.S. team at the 2017 Presidents Cup.
Stricker was appointed Ryder Cup captain on Wednesday, his seventh straight time taking part in the matches, this time in charge of an American team trying to win back the gold trophy in his home state of Wisconsin.
It was hardly a surprise with the 2020 matches going to Whistling Straits, an hour north of Milwaukee where Stricker was introduced Wednesday. He still had his doubts when his name first was mentioned five years ago, aware each of the 28 previous American captains had won a major.
"I was thinking they're not going to have me. I haven't won a major," he said. "But it kept going further along, me putting in the time last year, the Presidents Cup a couple of years ago, and the PGA of America and Ryder Cup committees saying they wanted to move off from that."
All that matters now is bringing the Ryder Cup back to America.
Tiger Woods, among three players on the Ryder Cup committee, said Stricker was a unanimous choice.
"Everyone knows he's such a nice guy, but beneath all of that exterior is this fieriness and this competitiveness, and he's also one of the more detail-oriented guys that we know," Woods said. "I think that he'll be prepared, he'll be understanding and he's very good at communicating with the players and getting their opinions but also putting his foot down when he has to."
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid will miss at least a week with a sore left knee.
Embiid underwent an MRI on Tuesday, which revealed no structural damage, and he will undergo physical therapy until he is evaluated again next week.
The 24-year-old Embiid is averaging 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds in 54 games for the Sixers. He had 10 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes in last Sunday's All-Star game.
Embiid was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2014 draft and missed his first two seasons with multiple foot and knee injuries.
DETROIT (AP) - Free agent Josh Harrison has agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal was still subject to a successful physical.
The 31-year-old Harrison spent his first eight major league seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's played second base, third base, shortstop and in the outfield.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Le'Veon Bell is free to go. Antonio Brown, maybe not so much.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have no plans to place a transition tag on Bell, allowing the star running back to reach the open market when free agency begins next month. And while the team will explore moving Brown, general manager Kevin Colbert stressed Wednesday the Steelers will not cut the talented but turbulent star wide receiver just to appease him.
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Browns boosted their wide receiving group by signing Jaelen Strong, who missed last season with a knee injury.
A former third-round pick, Strong sat out 2018 after tearing a knee ligament late in the 2017 season with Jacksonville. The 25-year-old has made three starts and played in 20 NFL games with Houston and the Jaguars.
The 6oot-2, 220-pounder has 31 career catches for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
Strong, who played at Arizona State, was waived by the Texans two years ago and signed with Jaguars.