Harrington named European captain for 2020 Ryder Cup

Padraig Harrington and Des Smyth at the Irish Open in 2015

Considered among the greatest to play the game, Woods got his first taste of Ryder Cup leadership by serving as a vice-captain to Davis Love III at Hazeltine in 2016 as a string of back issues blighted his illustrious career. "In light of the beating suffered by Darren Clarke in Minnesota in 2016, he knows that he faces ominous odds on a tricked-up links course that will be created to suit the Americans" longest hitters. But just because it seems like my turn, it's something I thought long and hard about.

"I think the standard of golf on the European Tour and the players we have on tour is going to ensure that".

"It's close on 18 months to go, it really is a full-time job, the Ryder Cup, trying to get everything in preparation", Harrington added.

Several key Europe players, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and England's Justin Rose, had given Harrington public backing to lead the team in their title defence.

Bjorn and previous captains Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are on the panel that will decide who will lead Europe to America. I suppose I've learnt from all of them, I've probably learnt a lot more as vice captain than you do as a player, it's wonderful the difference.

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".

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Harrington played Whistling Straits in PGA Championships there in 2004, '10, and '15.

"Becoming captain is not something I went into lightly", Harrington said after he was appointed. It is a different element to your career and we know a successful captain is great and a losing captain, it's his fault.

"He's a deep thinker, he's somewhat of a left-field thinker, I just watched his press conference and he talked about filling the role of vice-captain very carefully and I totally agree with that", McGinley said. He finished 2018 as the world's 191st-ranked player, his lowest end-of-year ranking since 2014, and it is likely to be even lower when the Ryder Cup rolls around.

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

"But it is daunting because you want to do a good job". He's tough but very straight.

"He is as European as they come". When you're a player, you are exclusively concerned with your ability to perform on the biggest stage of all and trying to get your game in optimum shape. "But there's no messing from his side".

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