Padraig Harrington 'Thrilled' To Be Team Europe Captain For 2020 Ryder Cup

Padraig Harrington was named European Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday, pledging to do all he can to continue the high level of success the team has enjoyed through his playing career.

"It's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation", he told a news conference at the European Tour's headquarters.

Harrington has a storied Ryder Cup career, having represented Europe six times as a player - including being part of four triumphs.

Europe's new captain Padraig Harrington has vast Ryder Cup experience and is "highly respected by all", according to his predecessor Thomas Bjorn.

I'm thrilled. It's not something I went into lightly. "I've actually learned a lot more as vice-captain than you do as a player".

"The players want continuity, it makes my job easier that I have their confidence, they've spoken to me publicly and privately".

The Irishman may follow a different path to Bjorn, who famously promised his players he would have his backside tattooed if Europe prevailed, but Harrington will hope to gain similar results when it comes to getting the best out of his team. The PGA of America removed much of the rough at Medinah and Hazeltine to suit the American players, and I expect to see more of the same in Wisconsin.

It's vital to serve an apprenticeship as a vice-captain so that, when you get your turn in the top job, you know every detail and you also know how important your backroom team is. "It's going to take a great deal of my time over the next 18 months figuring out how can I make our team play to the best of their ability".

"I realize it's good timing in my career, but I always realize it's probably the best setting for the team, going to the US having me the captain at this time".

Six of the last seven contests have been won by the home side and, as Harrington himself has pointed out, it took a "Miracle at Medinah" for the one away victory to occur.

Padraig Harrington's immediate future has been unveiled to all and sundry.

"Steve's a solid bloke", Harrington had said in October.

"I want to be a winning captain". However, Harrington will know the alternate-shot format is an area where his men can gain an advantage. He's tough but very straight. When you're a player, you are exclusively concerned with your ability to perform on the biggest stage of all and trying to get your game in optimum shape.

"He is as European as they come".

Vanessa Coleman

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