Padraig Harrington to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Heather Diaz
January 11, 2019

Padraig Harrington barely raised a smile as he spoke for the first time as Europe's new Ryder Cup captain.

Following Europe's demolition of the United States in France a year ago, Harrington had been viewed as the only candidate to preside over a defence.

However, the 47-year-old is well aware of the damage a Ryder Cup defeat can do to a captain's reputation having played under six-time major victor Sir Nick Faldo in Europe's defeat at Valhalla in 2008.

The Irishman will become the third captain from the Emerald Isle in four Ryder Cups.

"I can go back as far as Sam Torrance and Woosie [Ian Woosnam], who were very emotional, put their arm around your shoulder and made you believe that they believed in you".

"It's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation", Harrington, a three-time major champion, said.

I think it's fair to describe the appointment of Harrington as a no-brainer. I felt it was the right time for me to go for it.

"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".

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Harrington spoke of finding that little edge to give Europe the best possible chance of retaining the trophy in Wisconsin, and he'll leave no stone unturned over the next 18 months or so.

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". "That man loves the Ryder Cup".

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

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

"You can't do everything as a captain, your very much defined by the quality of your vice-captains and you have to rely on them a lot".

"The second thing is the golf course that we're playing on is a European style golf course, it's a golf course that really suits the European style. I want to be a winning captain".

"You know when you're going up against a guy like that that he is mentally tough and strong". 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. "It's an uphill struggle to beat the U.S. in the USA, for sure". Even mentioning a cup of coffee has been known to tip him into angst about how best to make one.

Steve Stricker is among the leading contenders for the role.

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