Monday, 18 March, 2019

Bjorn: Ryder Cup captain Harrington ‘highly respected by all’

Pádraig Harrington Pádraig Harrington
Shannon Reynolds | 11 January, 2019, 00:30

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

The 47-year-old was part of Europe's last three Ryder Cups as vice-captain and featured in the tournament six times as a player, finishing on the winning side on four occasions.

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.

Nearly from the time the last putt dropped at the Ryder Cup in France, Harrington was deemed the likely pick for 2020.

"I'm well aware that it's win or nothing, that's the way it goes".

"I'm excited with the whole idea, I hope I can add something to it", added Harrington.

"I think what they are really saying is that they liked what they saw and they would like a continuation of what they have seen and not to rock the boat too much. That's normally what we do and one of the reasons we've had success in the event is this elevation of vice captains into captains".

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"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.

There is a risk, as he knows, of the Ryder Cup wreaking similar havoc with his mind. "I seem to be the right time and place for me in my career and in the Ryder Cup profile of other players and whose turn it is, but just because it seems like it is my turn it's not something I walked in to and said yeah it's my turn I should do it".

Steve Stricker is expected to be named the Captain for the 2020 U.S. side, and Harrington previously said thinks he will be a "nice" Captain, but says he is not to be underestimated.

We take a look at five candidates who could captain Team USA's next bid for Ryder Cup glory. "You just have to know the man behind the scenes".

"He's got a lot of things in his favour, I think Thomas was blessed with the best European team we ever had in France, I think Pod will be blessed with an even better team than that".

As a player, Harrington made his Ryder Cup debut at the Country Club in Brookline in 1999 and was ever-present for the following five editions, helping Europe to victory in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010.

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