Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Harrington tasked with masterminding Europe's Ryder Cup defence

Harrington tasked with masterminding Europe's Ryder Cup defence

Padraig Harrington has been confirmed as Europe's captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Stricker has also been a vice captain at the last three Ryder Cups.

The three-times major victor had been the clear favourite to succeed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn for the next tournament at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, having served as vice-captain at the last three Ryder Cups.

McIlroy admitted he "hit a wall" at Hazeltine and was clearly not on top form at Le Golf National, so it will be interesting to see if Harrington becomes the first captain to use him more sparingly.

Harrington was a popular choice among Europe's victorious team to take on the captaincy and became a near-certainty when Lee Westwood announced he did not want to be considered for the role, preferring to target Italy in 2022.

"I can only look at his actions", said Harrington, who succeeds Thomas Bjorn as captain.

Harrington said: "I know a number of players have come out and said they feel I should be the next captain. That's something I don't take lightly".

"It really came down to whether I wanted to be in the hat and put what is a successful career, put it on the line".

Couples captained the USA 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".


"As a player you're very one dimensional about doing your thing and as a vice captain you do a lot more". For the best part of the next two years the 47-year-old will live and breathe the Ryder Cup.

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 know we're going to a new venue".

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

The U.S.is expected to name its 2020 captain sometime this spring.

He spent countless hours analysing all manner of statistics for his own team as well as the opposition, and he took Ryder Cup captaincy to a new level.

The Irishman may follow a different path to Bjorn, who famously promised his players he would have his backside tattooed if Europe prevailed, but Harrington will hope to gain similar results when it comes to getting the best out of his team.

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