Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Ryder Cup: Padraig Harrington 'putting career on line' as new Europe captain

Harrington was a vice captain under Thomas Bjorn when Europe won the Ryder Cup in September Harrington was a vice-captain under Thomas Bjorn when Europe won the Ryder Cup in September
Frederick Owens | 11 January, 2019, 05:12

Padraig Harrington said he is "not the fuzzy, cuddly type" and will look to follow Bernhard Langer's style of leadership when he captains Europe at the 2020 Ryder Cup.

Europe were beaten 17-11 on their last attempt to retain the trophy in the United States and, while McGinley believes it will be a tall order to do so this time around at Whistling Straits, he believes Harrington should have plenty of reason for encouragement.

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's appointment, which had been widely expected, was confirmed at a European Tour news conference at Wentworth today.

"It's not something I went into lightly", he said. I think Thomas was blessed with the best team we've ever had in France.

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.

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.

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Pavard played a key role in France's World Cup win at Russian Federation 2018 and reports of a move to Bayern have persisted since, although both parties have previously denied any agreement. Steve Stricker, who served as a vice captain for the past three Ryder Cups and was the 2017 U.S. Presidents Cup captain, is the leading contender.

"I have to be part of that team and ensure that I find an edge to make the team perform to the best of their abilities and hopefully get a win", said Harrington, who accrued 10 1/2 Ryder Cup points since he made his debut in 1999. It does make my job easier.

"He'll be very diligent, there's no doubt about that, very confident and hopefully continue this great run of success we're having in the European team".

"He gets the glory, the opportunity to be loved on the golf course".

But, from a European perspective, I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing how Harrington handles himself, and the great thing about him is that he will never hide.

The captain has so much more to think about, and the assistant captains play a big part in the decision-making process. Thankfully we are going to Whistling Straits which is just a strong golf course.

"I know we're going to a new venue". I know it's an uphill struggle to beat the U.S.in the USA but these are good golf courses.

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