McGinley: Harrington best man for 'monumental' Ryder Cup challenge

Padraig Harrington and Des Smyth at the Irish Open in 2015

Ireland's Padraig Harrington has been named Europe's captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup on Tuesday, less than four months after helping the team to a crushing victory over the United States in Paris.

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!

Harrington was confirmed as Europe's captain for the biennial matchplay tournament on Tuesday, succeeding Thomas Bjorn, who skippered Europe as they regained the trophy in France past year.

Bjorn's side put on a ruthless display while outplaying the United States in a 17.5-10.5 victory at Le Golf National in September previous year.

Padraig Harrington will lead Europe into the next Ryder Cup.

"It's something I did think long and hard about", Harrington said during a press conference at the European Tour's headquarters at Wentworth.

Harrington said: "I know a number of players have come out and said they feel I should be the next captain".

He added: "You could look at this as being a natural progression from player to vice-captain to captain but it's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation".

"He's been a great ambassador for the country and golf and I'm sure he's going to do a great job for Europe as well".

'I really want to be a help, I want to hopefully leave the European Tour and Ryder Cup in a better place after two years. "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".

"As a player you're very one dimensional about doing your thing and as a vice captain you do a lot more".

Considered among the greatest to play the game, Woods got his first taste of Ryder Cup leadership by serving as a vice-captain to Davis Love III at Hazeltine in 2016 as a string of back issues blighted his illustrious career.

Harrington played in six Ryder Cups and was on the winning team four times.

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

However, Bookmakers have been quick to make U.S. favourites - although they are yet to confirm their skipper with the likes of Steve Stricker and Fred Couples in contention.

"So yes, I think Steve will be a nice Ryder Cup captain".

The Irishman may follow a different path to Bjorn, who famously promised his players he would have his backside tattooed if Europe prevailed, but Harrington will hope to gain similar results when it comes to getting the best out of his team. However, Harrington will know the alternate-shot format is an area where his men can gain an advantage.

"It's something that you'd better embrace because you know it will have that asterisk (next to your name) if you don't win it".



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