Padraig Harrington named Europe’s 2020 Ryder Cup captain

Padraig Harrington and Des Smyth at the Irish Open in 2015

Padraig Harrington's wealth of Ryder Cup experience both on and off the course make him the ideal choice as European captain for 2020, says Rob Lee...

The appointment of the three-time major champion, 47, was announced in a news conference at Wentworth on Tuesday.

In 2018, the Irishman was one of Thomas Bjørn's vice-captains at Le Golf National but in 2020 he will make the step up to captain on American soil.

Nearly from the time the last putt dropped at the Ryder Cup in France, Harrington was deemed the likely pick for 2020.

He said: "I felt it was the right time for me to go for it".

'It's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation.

He added: 'It's something I did think long and hard about.

He has got great experience in the United States, so he won't be intimidated.

McIlroy has played in every possible session in his five Ryder Cup appearances to date, but won just two points from his five matches in Paris and has now lost his last two singles contests - against Patrick Reed and Justin Thomas - when sent out first.

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"You are putting it on the line when you become the Ryder Cup captain".

Harrington will remarkably become the third Irish-born European Captain in the past four Ryder Cup's after Paul McGinley captained the victorious 2014 European Team at Gleneagles and with Darren Clarke captaining hapless 2016 side that lost at Hazeltine.

"We're going to a new venue, it's an away match, we're going to have on average 3 more rookies coming in to the team, and I have to be a part of that team and ensure that I find an edge to help the team perform to the best of their abilities to get the most out of them and hopefully get a win".

There is a risk, as he knows, of the Ryder Cup wreaking similar havoc with his mind.

"He's the right man at the right time in his career". While the US captain for 2020 has not yet been announced, 2017 Presidents Cup captain and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker is perceived as the favorite to lead the American squad in his home state.

"So yes, I think Steve will be a nice Ryder Cup captain. You just have to know the man behind the scenes".

"It's something that you'd better embrace because you know it will have that asterisk (next to your name) if you don't win it".

Like Harrington, Stricker has been a three-time Ryder Cup vice-captain and with Harrington is confident Sticker will be a formidable opponent in 2020.

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