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

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Padraig Harrington was announced as Europe's captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup on Tuesday, but his United States counterpart remains unknown.

He has served as vice-captain for the past three Ryder Cups, most recently under Thomas Bjorn previous year when Europe regained the trophy outside Paris.

Europe defend the trophy won by Thomas Bjorn and his team at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September 2020 and it will be Harrington who will lead the team.

"Great news to wake up to", said Donald, who played on three Ryder Cup teams with Harrington in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Was it the right time?

Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington was named European Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday

'Obviously I'm thrilled to be named as Ryder Cup captain, it's not something I went into lightly, ' said the three-time major victor.

But as something of a perfectionist and an over-thinker, Harrington said he was concerned about the facets of the job that were "outside my control".

It's possibly easier to be Ryder Cup captain at home but I realise it was good timing in my career and probably the best chance for the team in an global setting, going to the USA having me as captain at this time. He played in six straight Ryder Cups from 1999 and was on the winning team four times, collecting 10 1/2 points.

In many ways, McIlroy's stance captures the glaring artificiality of the Ryder Cup. "It's an away match", Harrington said.

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"I have the support of the players, then it really came down to whether I wanted to be in the hat".

I really want to be a help. "It's a different league, a different level". There will certainly be more pressure being a Ryder Cup captain, particularly on home soil, and I'm expecting Stricker to find out the difference first hand. How am I going to feel about that?'

The Irishman became the favourite after England's former world No.1 Lee Westwood, one of the five European vice-captains in 2018, indicated a preference to do the job in Italy in 2022 when Rome hosts the event.

So Harrington, a veteran of nine renewals (six as a player), knew his place, held his silence. He acknowledged he was putting his golfing status on the line.

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In that game the European heavyweights carded seven birdies on the par-70 South Course, casting aside the highly-regarded duo 2&1.

"Home advantage is a huge part of it, there's no doubt about it, " Harrington said. Yet, for all that, it remains a captivating spectacle that, history tells us, can derange even the most temperate of golf minds. "You just have to know the man behind the scenes". It's not going to be a course like Hazeltine, set up (with) fast greens, open golf course, birdie fest.

"I am aware that I could have passed up on this and just kept on going as a nice tournament golfer".

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