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

Friday, 11 Jan, 2019

Harrington won the Open Championship in 2007 and successfully defended the title the following year, before winning the US PGA Championship just three weeks later.

Harrington was confirmed as Europe's captain for the biennial matchplay tournament on Tuesday, succeeding Thomas Bjorn, who skippered Europe as they regained the trophy in France past year.

Harrington has already contemplated the ramifications of losing in Whistling Straits and will ensure he does not make the same mistakes as the Englishman.

Thomas Bjorn has given his backing to Padraig Harrington, who will succeed him as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the tournament in 2020.

"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".

He has got great experience in the United States, so he won't be intimidated. Bernard did get involved, he would get on the tee box and tell you what clubs to hit. "You get one and done".

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.

It could be the polar opposite of the set-up we saw at Le Golf National, where the European team's superior course management was a key factor in their handsome win.

The 47-year old Dubliner became the overwhelming favourite when England's Lee Westwood confirmed late last year, he was not interested in the 2020 Captaincy and instead, he is focussed on leading Europe in 2022 at Rome.

McGinley and Clarke were among those in a five-man committee to select the captain for Whistling Straits. "I want to be a help to the players and to leave the Ryder Cup in the better place". Winning this event on foreign soil is, as recent scorelines at both Hazeltine and Le Golf National prove, perhaps the most hard task in the game, and Harrington recognises that it will, in his words, "put my legacy on the line". I'm sure there's going to be a certain edge to it but look it's a big strong golf course and we should all know what we are getting.

Harrington said: "I know a number of players have come out and said they feel I should be the next captain". The PGA of America removed much of the rough at Medinah and Hazeltine to suit the American players, and I expect to see more of the same in Wisconsin.

"It is important to me that I got that support". I just think Stricker would be an ideal choice.

"But I also played under Bernhard Langer, who was like a school teacher".

"He wants to win the Masters and those words are coming out but his actions are not that way at all".