Pádraig Harrington set to be confirmed as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain

Pádraig Harrington is today expected to be named as Europe’s captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup.

The three-time major winner is the clear favourite to succeed Thomas Bjorn at Whistling Straits, where Europe will be bidding to defend the trophy won in Paris last year.

An announcement is expected at a press conference at the European Tour’s Wentworth headquarters.

Harrington has served as a vice-captain at the last three Ryder Cups and appeared in the biennial contest against the US six times as a player, beginning at Brookline in 1999. He was on the winning team in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2010.

The 47-year-old Irishman also has good experience of the course in Wisconsin having played there in the US PGA Championships of 2004, 2010, and 2015.

Bjorn and past captains Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are on the panel that selects the next captain, along with European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and a member of the Tour’s Players Committee.

Harrington became the favourite after Lee Westwood, the other main candidate, indicated a preference to do the job in Rome in 2022.

Bjorn had suggested there was no need to rush into appointing his successor, but, speaking during the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of October, Harrington was keen for the decision to be taken sooner rather than later.

“I keep getting asked and I’m trying to say it hasn’t been decided, but once you start talking about it eventually it starts looking like I think I am.

“It puts me in an awkward position so I’d prefer the clarity.

“I understand what Thomas is saying in that it is a distraction, but being the captain in the States is different to being the captain in Europe. In Europe, you’re heavily involved in the set-up of the course and different things. It’s 18 months of your life.”

Harrington will not start his 2019 playing campaign until next month after slipping on the stairs at home over Christmas and breaking a bone in his wrist.

Europe have dominated the Ryder Cup in the modern era, winning nine of the last 12 matches.


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