Padraig Harrington to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

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Padraig Harrington was named European Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday, pledging to do all he can to continue the high level of success the team has enjoyed through his playing career.

This was Bjorn's gig and even if the dogs in the streets of Versailles knew that Harrington was nailed on to be his successor, a Ryder Cup captain's word - for one week every two years at least - bears inordinate weight. He won't be. Nick Faldo was, arguably, the worst Ryder Cup captain in history at Valhalla in 2008, but a six-time Major victor doesn't lose that status on the back of a hard week in a team room.

Harrington, the third Irish captain of the Europe team in the last four stagings of the match, said he had a busy 18 months ahead and meant to make his captaincy a mix of all those he had served under.

"I have to be a confident captain as much as I need 12 confident players". "I've actually learned a lot more as vice-captain than you do as a player".

"I really want to be a help, I want to hopefully lead the Ryder Cup and the European Tour in a better place after two years, but I know we want continuity in Europe, we want to keep moving on".

The three time major victor says he needs to find an edge to fulfil the role to the best of his ability.

The good news is that Harrington believes some American players "aren't that happy" with the links-style course at Whistling Straits, where Martin Kaymer won the 2010 US PGA Championship. A Ryder Cup captain's job is, essentially, to rewire that mindset.

"I think it will mean a lot, it's a great honour for him", two-time Ryder Cup player Des Smyth told RTÉ Sport.

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Justin Rose, who was part of Bjorn's victorious team in France, was among those who also offered their congratulations, along with one of Harrington's ex-Ryder Cup colleagues Luke Donald.

The PGA of America might be tempted to go for someone with a winning pedigree as Ryder Cup captain, with Davis Love III and Paul Azinger top of a very short list! 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.

Harrington is the third Irish golfer to hold the role since 2014. I am putting something on the line going out there.

"I'm the right man for the job at this time", he said.

"I think what they are really saying is that they liked what they saw and they would like a continuation of what they have seen and not to rock the boat too much". Harrington, 47, is a six-time Ryder Cup participant.

He said: "Steve's a solid bloke. 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". "Good guy. Tough. Not a man to underestimate".

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. I'm sure there's going to be a certain edge to it but look it's a big strong golf course and we should all know what we are getting.

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