Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Harrington takes Ryder Cup captaincy with some trepidation

Harrington takes Ryder Cup captaincy with some trepidation

"It is a tremendous honour to be named Ryder Cup Captain and I am relishing the next 20 months as we work towards Whistling Straits and Europe's defense of the trophy".

Speaking about his experience at Le Golf National, Harrington said: "You are always learning and it was a nice balanced vice-captaincy with different personalities; some good emotions, some good thinkers".

Harrington takes over for Thomas Bjorn while Jim Furyk led Team USA at the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Harrington has served as a vice-captain at the last three Ryder Cups and appeared in the biennial contest against the United States six times as a player, beginning at Brookline in 1999.

Pádraig Harrington celebrates with future Ryder Cup captains Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley at the 2002 event.

This is not something I went into lightly.

"It really came down to whether I wanted to. put what is a successful career on the line", Harrington said.

The three time major victor says he needs to find an edge to fulfil the role to the best of his ability.

Following Europe's demolition of the United States in France previous year, Harrington had been viewed as the only candidate to preside over a defence.

'It does make my job easier that I feel I have the confidence of the players, ' Harrington added.

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Harrington has been encouraged by what he said was the "unanimous" support of Europe's players and former captains. His actions are all about the Ryder Cup.

The desire to intellectualise, even mythologise the role of a Ryder Cup captain has reached such farcical levels of late, you might believe it demands the esoteric judgement of a nuclear physicist.

He had been the overwhelming favorite to replace Bjorn, especially after Lee Westwood said he preferred to be captain in the 2022 match in Italy. "When you're thinking of taking this job, you have to wonder, "Hang on a second, I could do everything right and end up on the wrong side of this". "Because you are putting it on the line when you become Ryder Cup captain".

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

He said: "Steve's a solid bloke".

The defender, who can play at centre-back as well as right-back, moved to the Bundesliga from Lille in 2016 and soon established himself as a star man for Stuttgart, starting all 34 league games last season.

"You know when you're going up against a guy like that that he is mentally tough and strong". I think Thomas was blessed with the best team we've ever had in France. He's tough but very straight.

"You don't get that day-in, day-out".

"He is as European as they come".

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