Harrington to captain Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup

Tanya Simon
January 11, 2019

Harrington, whose experience of the Ryder Cup is vast, must make sure he is just as thorough in determining who is worthy of a pick.

Irish golfer Padraig Harrington has been confirmed as Ryder Cup captain for Team Europe ahead of the tournament next year.

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. "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".

And it hasn't taken players long to send their congratulations to the six-time appearance maker.

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

"I've learned from all of them", he said.

"You look at this being a natural progression, but it's not something I have taken on without trepidation". As a player you are very one-dimensional about doing your thing and getting on with performing. I felt it was the right time for me to go for it. McGinley and Clarke were among those in a five-man committee to select the captain for Whistling Straits.

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The "bromance" between Fleetwood and Molinari captured headlines, but it was clear every member of the European team - including the captain and his backroom staff - had fully bought in to Bjorn's methods, as constant references were made to putting egos aside and focusing on the collective.

The PGA of America might be tempted to go for someone with a winning pedigree as Ryder Cup captain, with Davis Love III and Paul Azinger top of a very short list!

Each new captain is appointed after having generally worked as a vice-captain, often for more than one event - an approach that contrasts to that of the Americans who often seem to be starting their planning afresh each time.

Harrington can now begin his planning as Europe bid for their 10th victory in 13th contests since 2002, and the Irishman is relishing the challenge of retaining the trophy on a course he competed on in three PGA Championships.

"I'm the right man for the job at this time", he said. I just think Stricker would be an ideal choice. His actions are all about the Ryder Cup. "It is a different element to your career".

"It's something I did think long and hard about, was it right and it's possibly easier to be a Ryder Cup Captain at home but I realised it was good timing in my career but I also realised it probably was the best chance for the team in an global setting going to the U.S having me as their captain at this time".

Harrington follows Jose Maria Olazabal (2012), Paul McGinley (2014), Darren Clarke (2016) and Thomas Bjorn (2018) as recent captains of the European Ryder Cup squad.

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