Harrington named European captain for 2020 Ryder Cup

Padraig Harrington and Des Smyth at the Irish Open in 2015

Padraig Harrington and Des Smyth at the Irish Open in 2015

Padraig Harrington was chosen as captain of Europe's team for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on Tuesday, and said he was putting his legacy on the line by taking the "daunting" role.

"I've just been talking with a few of the members and everyone is delighted with the news", Mr King said.

Harrington said: "It is a tremendous honour to be named Ryder Cup Captain and I am relishing the next 20 months as we work towards Whistling Straits and Europe's defence of the trophy".

The three-times major victor, 47, will become the third player from Ireland - after Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke - to captain Europe in just four Ryder Cups.

Harrington is the third Irishman in four matches to captain Europe after McGinley and Darren Clarke, who was at the helm in a 2016 defeat at Hazeltine.

"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 US having me the captain at this time". "I've actually learned a lot more as vice-captain than you do as a player".

"It really came down to whether I wanted to. put what is a successful career on the line", Harrington said.

"We're going to a new venue, it's an away match, and we're going to have on average three more rookies coming into the team", he added. "Hopefully I will pull it together and say the right things at the right times".

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Bjorn's side put on a ruthless display while outplaying the United States in a 17.5-10.5 victory at Le Golf National in September previous year.

The U.S.is expected to counter with Steve Stricker as its captain when they announce later this year.

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!

So, step forward, Harrington who ticks all the future captaincy boxes. How am I going to feel about that?'

Harrington compiled a 9-13-3 Ryder Cup record as an individual, playing on six consecutive European squads between 1999-2010.

"He's the right man at the right time in his career". He's a good guy, well respected, and he's already enjoyed success as a team captain in the Presidents Cup. The most important job a Ryder captain faces is to be liked and trusted by his players. He's tough but very straight.

Despite encountering abuse from the MA galleries for what they considered his slow play that day, abuse echoed by one TV commentator who suggested his deliberation "gave new meaning to the Boston Marathon", Harrington retained the mental resolve to beat O'Meara one up.

"He is as European as they come".

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