Harrington poised for Ryder Cup captaincy

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington is set to be confirmed next week as Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain for the 2020 renewal at Whistling Straits.

The European Tour has called a press conference at Wentworth for next Tuesday, presumably to confirm the appointment of the three-time major winner. He is set to be the third Irish captain in the past four Ryder Cups.

The franking of Harrington will be confirmed by a committee featuring previous captain Thomas Bjorn and the previous two captains, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley.

Harrington was the clear front-runner once Lee Westwood confirmed in October he will wait until Rome, 2022, to throw his visor into the ring.

The Dubliner has been backed by Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and, significantly, Sergio Garcia, whom Harrington has had a testy relationship with in the past.

Confirmation too that Harrington suffered a broken wrist last month in a domestic accident will keep him off the course and offer time to begin strategising for Whistling Straits.

Harrington had planned to contest the European Tour events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai later this month but is now targeting a first appearance of the season at the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am from February 7-10.

In a statement on his website, the 47-year-old Dubliner wrote: “Over the Christmas period I discovered I had broken a bone in my wrist.

“I had slipped whilst walking down the stairs at home in mid-December. Whilst it continues to heal, I need to keep it in a splint a little while longer so, frustratingly, I will need to miss the first two planned events of my season in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

“However, I should be fully fit for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am in early February.”

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