Friday, 18 January, 2019

‘It’s win or nothing’ - Ryder Cup captain Harrington putting ‘legacy’ on line

Padraig Harrington to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits Padraig Harrington 'Thrilled' To Be Team Europe Captain For 2020 Ryder Cup
Kristopher Love | 11 January, 2019, 05:14

Padraig Harrington has been named the 2020 European Ryder Cup captain and will look to lead the team to a successful defence at Whistling Straits.

The Dubliner will lead Europe against the United States of America at Whistling Straits next year.

Harrington, 47, a three-time major victor who played on six European teams, takes over for Thomas Bjorn, who oversaw a rousing success in France in September when Europe defeated the Americans 16½ to 9½, a seventh victory in the last 10 Ryder Cups.

In the least surprising news of 2019 thus far, Padraig Harrington was named captain for the 2020 European Ryder Cup team.

Harrington was chosen as Europe's 2020 Ryder Cup captain by a five-man selection panel comprising the three most recent European Ryder Cup captains - Bjørn, Clarke and McGinley - as well as the Chief Executive of the European Tour, Keith Pelley, and European Tour Tournament Committee representative Edoardo Molinari. "I am not as stressed about everything that goes with it".

I think it's fair to describe the appointment of Harrington as a no-brainer.

"Their confidence in me is hopefully going to be well-placed", Harrington said.

So did he really want a job that will consume his life and effectively put his playing career on hold for the next two years? "That's something I don't take lightly". He has featured in each of the past six editions - three as a player followed by three as a vice-captain - and led Team USA to a resounding 19-11 victory in the Presidents Cup in 2017.

Europe has triumphed at nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups.

I've heard people comparing Harrington with Paul McGinley, but I don't think anyone will match McGinley for his unprecedented level of preparation ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2014. "Because you are putting it on the line when you become Ryder Cup captain".

Harrington, who won back-to-back British Opens in 2007 and 2008 before going on to win his third major at that year's PGA Championship, also played in six successive Ryder Cups from 1999 to 2010, helping Europe to four victories.

"I have the support of the players, then it really came down to whether I wanted to be in the hat". You go out there and win and you're a successful captain; you lose, you're not. "I am very much looking forward to taking on this role".

"And secondly the course is a European-style of course, it's windy and has a links-feel to it".

"I know we're going to a new venue".

Paul McGinley described Europe winning in the U.S. as a "monumental" task but one that Padraig Harrington is the best man for.