LONDON – Padraig Harrington has been handed the task of defending Europe’s Ryder Cup title in the United States in 2020 after being named team captain on Tuesday.
The three-time major winner succeeds Dane Thomas Bjorn, and becomes the just the second golfer from the Republic of Ireland to take the reins for the tournament after Paul McGinley, who was victorious in 2014.
“I’m thrilled to be named as Ryder Cup captain for 2020, it’s not something I went into lightly,” he said to reporters after his nomination.
Harrington was clear favourite for the role after receiving high-profile support for his nomination from the likes of Northern Irish superstar Rory McIlroy, while his main rival Lee Westwood had expressed his desire to try and qualify as a player.
“You could look at this as being a natural progression from player to vice-captain to captain, but it’s not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation,” he added.
Four-time Ryder Cup winner Harrington, who is not able to play at the moment after breaking his wrist falling down the stairs at Christmas, acknowledged the size of the task he faced in winning at Whistling Straits, a course he knows well, having competed three times there in the PGA Championship.
“I know we are going to a new venue, it’s an away match... 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,” he said.
“I want to hopefully leave the European Tour and Ryder Cup in a better place after two years.”
Ryder Cup Announcement - Live https://t.co/PI9zUzQdJP— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) January 8, 2019