Padraig Harrington aware of Ryder Cup captaincy risk

Padraig Harrington will succeed Thomas Bjorn as European captain

Padraig Harrington will succeed Thomas Bjorn as European captain

Padraig Harrington has been handed the task of defending Europe's Ryder Cup title in the United States in 2020 after being named team captain on Tuesday.

"There seems to be a natural progression, " Harrington said during a news conference at European Tour headquarters near London.

Irishman Harrington - a three-time major victor and vice-captain in the last three Ryder Cups - succeeds Dane Thomas Bjorn.

A victor in four of his six Ryder Cup appearances as a player, Harrington was also a vice-captain in 2014 and 2016 under Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke.

I've heard people comparing Harrington with Paul McGinley, but I don't think anyone will match McGinley for his unprecedented level of preparation ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2014.

"I have played under many wonderful European captains since I made my debut 20 years ago and I would like to think that my captaincy will be a mix of all of them", Harrington told reporters.

"I want to find an edge to get the players to perform to best of their abilities and hopefully get a win", he said.

I know we want continuity in Europe.

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'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 worldwide setting, going to the U.S. having me as captain at this time.

The three time major victor says he needs to find an edge to fulfil the role to the best of his ability. His actions are all about the Ryder Cup.

Harrington was the presumed captain all along, which clears the way for Lee Westwood to take the reins in Rome in 2022. I am putting something on the line going out there.

But, from a European perspective, I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing how Harrington handles himself, and the great thing about him is that he will never hide.

Padraig Harrington is the best man for the "monumental challenge" of retaining the Ryder Cup on American soil that Europe will face next year, according to Paul McGinley. This is a guy who has become a world class player a couple of times late in his career without the firepower and arsenal other players have.

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

Despite encountering abuse from the MA galleries for what they considered his slow play that day, abuse echoed by one TV commentator who suggested his deliberation "gave new meaning to the Boston Marathon", Harrington retained the mental resolve to beat O'Meara one up. "You just have to know the man behind the scenes". The most important job a Ryder captain faces is to be liked and trusted by his players.

"He is as European as they come".

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