Padraig Harrington aware of Ryder Cup captaincy risk

Arnold Nichols
January 11, 2019

The Irishman was named captain of the Europe team for the 2020 competition at the Whistling Straits course in the American state of Wisconsin.

The 47-year old Dubliner became the overwhelming favourite when England's Lee Westwood confirmed late last year, he was not interested in the 2020 Captaincy and instead, he is focussed on leading Europe in 2022 at Rome.

The three-time major victor is the clear favourite to succeed Thomas Bjorn at Whistling Straits, where Europe will be bidding to defend the trophy won in Paris previous year.

McIlroy admitted he "hit a wall" at Hazeltine and was clearly not on top form at Le Golf National, so it will be interesting to see if Harrington becomes the first captain to use him more sparingly.

"I've won three majors in my career but taking the Ryder Cup captaincy is a different level", Harrington was reported as saying by BBC Sport. "I am not as stressed about everything that goes with it".

'It's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation. I think Thomas was blessed with the best team we've ever had in France. "When I talked to the other players and potential captains going forward, it seemed to fit nicely that I go and do the away match".

"I really want to be a help, I want to hopefully lead the Ryder Cup and the European Tour in a better place after two years, but I know we want continuity in Europe, we want to keep moving on".

"It's close on 18 months to go, it really is a full-time job, the Ryder Cup, trying to get everything in preparation", Harrington added.

Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: "Padraig Harrington says he has been encouraged by the support for him as the new Ryder Cup captain but it hasn't done enough to increase the confidence of punters".

Europe has won nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups.

He has learnt from some of the great European captains and golfing figures - Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Paul McGinley - and said he will take little bits from each in a bid to maintain Europe's dominance in the event.

Harrington has a storied Ryder Cup career, having represented Europe six times as a player - including being part of four triumphs.

"He gets the glory, the opportunity to be loved on the golf course".

"I have to understand that it's very black and white".

"He wants to win the Masters and those words are coming out but his actions are not that way at all. You just have to know the man behind the scenes". It does make my job easier. I think Padraig will be blessed with an even better team.

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