Harrington to captain Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup

Pádraig Harrington

The Irishman's appointment, which had been widely expected, was confirmed at a European Tour news conference at Wentworth today.

Things are not always going to go your way during a Ryder Cup, and it's important to have a captain who is wise enough to avoid stamping his own authority on the week. When you're a player, you are exclusively concerned with your ability to perform on the biggest stage of all and trying to get your game in optimum shape. This is not like being a football manager where I lose this week, I play next week and if I get the sack, I'll get another team.

"The reminder we have every day is the Harrington Room where we have all his trophies from his amateur days right through to the Walker Cup, Ryder Cup, then the Majors and competitions around the world", Mr King said. "You get one and done".

The victor of The Open in 2007 at Carnoustie, The Open in 2008 at Royal Birkdale and the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, Harrington went 9-13-3 in six consecutive appearances for Europe from 1999 through 2010, playing on four winning teams.

It could be the polar opposite of the set-up we saw at Le Golf National, where the European team's superior course management was a key factor in their handsome win.

The 47-year-old has been odds-on favourite to captain at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next year.

"I think Steve will be a nice Ryder Cup captain". I suppose you could look at this as being a natural progression, you move on from player to Vice Captain to Captain, but it's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation. I want to hopefully leave the Ryder Cup and the European Tour in a better place after two years. And I don't take it lightly. "It's an uphill struggle to beat the United States in the United States, for sure".

Harrington has been encouraged by what he said was the "unanimous" support of Europe's players.

Harrington became the favourite after Lee Westwood, the other main candidate, indicated a preference to do the job in Rome in 2022. "I have to be a confident captain as much as I need 12 confident players". But he is well-equipped to handle it, and I have no doubt he'll be a great captain at Whistling Straits. They want to see what I have to give, which is nice.

Bjorn signed off his captaincy by fulfilling his promise to have a tattoo of the winning scoreline after Europe regained the trophy.

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

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