Ryder Cup: Padraig Harrington 'putting career on line' as new Europe captain

Hope Soto
January 11, 2019

Padraig Harrington has been named captain of Europe's Ryder Cup team for the 2020 match at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

A victor in four of his six Ryder Cup appearances as a player, Harrington was also a vice-captain in 2014 and 2016 under Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke.

"Because you are putting it on the line when you become Ryder Cup captain".

Bjorn and past captains Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are on the panel that selects the next captain along with European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and a member of the Tour's Players Committee.

"He's a deep thinker, he's somewhat of a left-field thinker, I just watched his press conference and he talked about filling the role of vice-captain very carefully and I totally agree with that", McGinley said.

The Irishman said: 'Obviously I'm thrilled to be named as Ryder Cup captain for 2020, it's not something I went into lightly. I suppose you could look at this as being a natural progression, you move on from player to vice captain to captain. "I have to ensure that I find an edge to make the team perform to the best of their abilities and hopefully get a win".

Several key Europe players, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and England's Justin Rose, had given Harrington public backing to lead the team in their title defence. The PGA of America removed much of the rough at Medinah and Hazeltine to suit the American players, and I expect to see more of the same in Wisconsin. I felt it was the right time for me to go for it. That course has hosted the PGA Championship three times since 2004, and Harrington played in all three of them.

"I realize it's good timing in my career, but I always realize it's probably the best setting for the team, going to the USA having me the captain at this time".

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He added: 'It's something I did think long and hard about.

Following Europe's demolition of the United States in France past year, Harrington had been viewed as the only candidate to preside over a defence.

He said: "Steve's a solid bloke".

"I know it's tough to win in the States, " Harrington said.

"He's got a lot of things in his favour, I think Thomas was blessed with the best European team we ever had in France, I think Pod will be blessed with an even better team than that". He's tough but very straight.

"He is as European as they come".

"You don't get that day in, day out. But there's no messing from his side".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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