Harrington: "I have to find an edge as Ryder Cup captain"

Lynette Rowe
January 11, 2019

Harrington will lead the European team at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2020, with Europe the holders after defeating the U.S. at Golf National in Paris previous year.

He takes over from 47-year-old Bjorn for next year's contest in Wisconsin, where Europe will be bidding to defend the trophy won in convincing fashion in Paris in September.

McGinley and Clarke were part of the committee which ratified Harrington's role, as were the immediate past captain, Thomas Bjorn, and European Tour chief executive, Keith Pelley.

McIlroy has competed in the last five Ryder Cups, winning in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018.

"There seems to be a natural progression, " Harrington said during a news conference at European Tour headquarters near London. But I think that's a road you should not go down. "I've actually learned a lot more as vice-captain than you do as a player".

"He's got a lot of things in his favour, I think Thomas was blessed with the best European team we ever had in France, I think Pod will be blessed with an even better team than that".

"I know we are going to a new venue, it's an away match". I want to hopefully leave the Ryder Cup and the European Tour in a better place after two years. "But it's not something that I take on without a certain amount of trepidation".

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

Europe has won nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups. "In light of the beating suffered by Darren Clarke in Minnesota in 2016, he knows that he faces ominous odds on a tricked-up links course that will be created to suit the Americans" longest hitters.

Harrington has been a vice-captain in each of the last three editions after making six appearances as a player, four of which resulted in victories for Europe, and he has been charged with the responsibility of retaining the trophy in Wisconsin.

"I'm excited with the whole idea, I hope I can add something to it", added Harrington. We've had some great captains and I've learnt from all of them.

"Players are interested in being under me as a captain".

"I have to understand that it's very black and white". I know they want continuity. Thankfully we are going to Whistling Straits which is just a strong golf course. 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". 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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