Harrington: "I have to find an edge as Ryder Cup captain"


Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington has been named the European captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup.

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

Harrington, 47, a three-time major victor who played on six European teams, takes over for Thomas Bjorn, who oversaw a rousing success in France in September when Europe defeated the Americans 16½ to 9½, a seventh victory in the last 10 Ryder Cups.

Harrington has been a vice-captain in each of the last three editions after making six appearances as a player, four of which resulted in victories for Europe, and he has been charged with the responsibility of retaining the trophy in Wisconsin.

"I'm thrilled to be named as the Ryder Cup captain for 2020", Harrington said.

Having said that, I doubt if we'll see the course set up in the same way as it would be for a major. "I've actually learned a lot more as vice-captain than you do as a player".

"I have to be a part of that team and ensure that I find an edge to make the team perform to the best of their abilities and get the most out of them and hopefully get a win".

"I will try and bring that all together and hopefully say the right things at the right time and get the best out of that team that provides a winning performance".

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While Harrington was the obvious candidate to captain Europe in 2020, the Team USA captaincy is less clear-cut, although Wisconsin native Steve Sticker seems to be the popular choice.

With many of Europe's big names increasingly competing on the PGA Tour, Harrington could opt to have another qualifier from the World Points List, but keeping the same system is more likely. He loves the Ryder Cup. I really feel conscious that I have to find that edge.

Harrington said he would not have taken the job if the event was going to a course similar to Hazeltine, where the U.S won 17-11 in 2016. "I don't think I ever thought I wasn't going to do it, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons".

Harrington, who hoisted the trophy four times during an illustrious playing career, can only dream his men will unleash such heroics on the greens and fairways in America when he leads them into the fray.

Six of the last seven contests have been won by the home side and, as Harrington himself has pointed out, it took a "Miracle at Medinah" for the one away victory to occur.

It's vital to serve an apprenticeship as a vice-captain so that, when you get your turn in the top job, you know every detail and you also know how important your backroom team is.

"You know when you're going up against a guy like that that he is mentally tough and strong". He's tough but very straight.