Harrington chosen as Europe's Ryder Cup skipper

Doug Mendoza
January 11, 2019

Ireland's Padraig Harrington will captain Europe at the 2020 Ryder Cup with pride and some trepidation after being appointed on Tuesday, less than four months after helping the team to a crushing victory over the United States in Paris.

Harrington, who will lead Europe at Whistling Straits in two years' time, says McIlroy will be fully behind Europe's efforts to successfully defend the trophy he helped win in France last year.

The three-time major champion was widely tipped to take over from Thomas Bjorn after making it clear he wanted the job in October, and became the favourite after Lee Westwood took himself out of the running.

The three-time major victor succeeds Dane Thomas Bjorn and becomes just the second golfer from the Republic of Ireland to take the reins for the tournament after Paul McGinley, who was victorious in 2014.

Harrington has served as a vice captain in each of the last three Ryder Cups, and he became the front-runner for the job once Lee Westwood took his name out of consideration late past year.

An announcement is expected at a press conference at the European Tour's Wentworth headquarters. "It's not something I went into lightly".

"I think Steve will be a nice Ryder Cup captain".

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"As I would have seen, Paul's went very well, he was very organised and it really did go smoothly".

"I want to find an edge to get the players to perform to best of their abilities and hopefully get a win".

"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.

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

"I'm putting it on the line - we know when you're a successful Ryder Cup captain it's great and a losing captain - it's his fault".

Couples captained the U.S. to three straight Presidents Cup triumphs from 2009 to 2013 and was a vice for the next two, but in 2017 he stated he felt his opportunity to oversee a Ryder Cup had "passed by". We've had some great captains and I've learnt from all of them. "The current players who are going to play under me have been very supportive". He won't want to change a winning formula, he knows what works and - perhaps more importantly - what doesn't work, and he'll stick with that.

"And secondly the course is a European-style of course, it's windy and has a links-feel to it". "You just have to know the man behind the scenes". I think Padraig will be blessed with an even better team.

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