Players react to Harrington captaincy

Rex Christensen
January 11, 2019

He succeeds Thomas Bjorn as captain for next year's contest at Whistling Straits, where Europe will be bidding to defend the trophy won in convincing fashion in Paris in September.

He's played on five of six victorious European Teams and has been a vice-captain on the past three Ryder Cup's including working closely with Thomas Bjorn in helping steer Europe to an emphatic seven-point success last October in France.

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, the third Irish captain of the Europe team in the last four stagings of the match, said he had a busy 18 months ahead and meant to make his captaincy a mix of all those he had served under.

Padraig Harrington said he was "thrilled" to be officially announced as the next Captain of the 2020 European Ryder Cup team, but insisted it was not a decision he took lightly. "I am not as stressed about everything that goes with it". You could look at this as a natural progression but it isn't something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation. "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".

"You are putting it on the line when you become the Ryder Cup captain".

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"I want to find an edge to get the players to perform to best of their abilities and hopefully get a win. It's something I will take on over the next 18 months".

Harrington said: "I know a number of players have come out and said they feel I should be the next captain".

The Europeans have won nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups.

"I'm putting it on the line - we know when you're a successful Ryder Cup captain it's great and a losing captain - it's his fault".

Harrington's seemingly only rival ahead of Tuesday's 1pm (UK time) announcement is Paul Lawrie but with both McGinley and Clarke as two on the five-man voting panel it was always be Harrington.

"You can't do everything as a captain, your very much defined by the quality of your vice-captains and you have to rely on them a lot". Thankfully we are going to Whistling Straits which is just a strong golf course. He won't want to change a winning formula, he knows what works and - perhaps more importantly - what doesn't work, and he'll stick with that. I know it's an uphill struggle to beat the U.S.in the US but these are good golf courses.

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