I was so selfish and ignorant as a Ryder player, says Harrington

Ruben Hill
January 11, 2019

Padraig Harrington is the best man for the "monumental challenge" of retaining the Ryder Cup on American soil that Europe will face next year, according to Paul McGinley.

Padraig Harrington has been chosen as captain of Europe's team for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis.

The three-time major victor had been the clear favorite to succeed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn for the defense at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, after having served as vice captain at the last three Ryder Cups.

The ones who were unable to deliver away wins included Nick Faldo, who for all his time as the world's top golfer failed to find the right buttons to press in the locker-rooms.

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

Stricker was captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team in 2017 that beat the worldwide side by eight points.

"It's somewhat incumbent now on the captain to bring players in as his vice-captains who are going to be potentially future captains. So if Thomas Bjorn [the 2018 captain] and Paul McGinley [in 2014] don't see me as a vice-captain, they are hardly going to pick me as captain".

Such a decision could leave him ineligible for the biennial competition, but Harrington was quick to play down any concerns over the four-time major champion's commitment to the cause. He has 15 European Tour victories and six on the PGA Tour.

"The Ryder Cup gives back to all the players something that no other event gives back".

Despite his anxieties, the Ryder Cup has adorned European trophy cabinets more often than American ones since the tournament was revamped in 1979.

And Harrington seemingly had no naysayers among the players.

"I'm getting some stats done at the moment on whether to go for three or four", he told BBC Sport. Their confidence in me I feel will be well placed.

"So I'd prefer more players to qualify than if I picked them but I will have a look at those stats".

"It will be an away match", Harrington warned. "It's a different league, a different level". "I'm thrilled but it's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation". "It's something I will take on over the next 18 months".

24 September 2006; Padraig Harrington, Team Europe 2006, celebrates with the tricolour on the balcony of the clubhouse after victory over the USA.

"I know there are words there, but the actions nowhere near match up". "If we were coming back to Hazeltine it would be another question of my appetite to go there".

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

Whistling Straits is certainly a links-style course, with fairways sitting among sandy waste areas on the banks of Lake Michigan.

Harrington added: "It is a European-style golf course, so let's hope we are somewhat on an even playing field". "But no one knows yet for sure".

Harrington was the natural choice to succeed Thomas Bjorn as European golf's next leader.

The U.S.is expected to name its 2020 captain sometime this spring. Harrington has worked closely with McIlroy in recent years, having served as a vice captain at the past three tournaments.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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