Harrington named European captain for 2020 Ryder Cup

Pádraig Harrington

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. Steve Stricker, who served as a vice captain for the past three Ryder Cups and was the 2017 U.S. Presidents Cup captain, is the leading contender.

The three-time major victor succeeds Dane Thomas Bjorn and becomes just the second golfer from the Republic of Ireland to take the reins for the tournament after Paul McGinley, who was victorious in 2014.

With memorabilia such as replica trophies and some of Harrington's equipment, it will become even more popular if he can bring home the coveted Ryder Cup trophy. "I'm thrilled but it's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation".

Irishman Harrington added: "I know there's words there, but the actions nowhere near match up. That's something I don't take lightly".

"The players want continuity, it makes my job easier that I have their confidence, they've spoken to me publicly and privately. That's normally what we do and one of the reasons we've had success in the event is this elevation of vice captains into captains".

"The first few days of the Ryder Cup there's four different arenas going on at the same time and you really need one pair eyes focused on [all of it], so the values of the vice-captain are going to be very important to him".

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

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

The number of wild cards has varied in recent years, with Jose Maria Olazabal having just two in 2012 and Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke allotted three each in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

"He's the right man at the right time in his career. When I talked to the other players and potential captains going forward, it seemed to fit nicely that I go and do the away match". While the USA 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.

Pavard played in six of France's seven games at the World Cup finals, only missing their final group game against Denmark, and he scored his first worldwide goal in the last-16 clash with Argentina.

"You know when you're going up against a guy like that that he is mentally tough and strong".

As a player, Harrington made his Ryder Cup debut at the Country Club in Brookline in 1999 and was ever-present for the following five editions, helping Europe to victory in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010.

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