Padraig Harrington has been named captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team for the 2020 match at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
The Irishman’s appointment, which had been widely expected, was confirmed at a European Tour news conference at Wentworth today.
Harrington played in the biennial event in six consecutive contests, including winningm teams in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010.
He also served as a vice captain on three occasions, helping Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn record victories at Gleneagles and Le Golf National in France in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
“Obviously I’m thrilled,” said the three-time major winner. “It’s not something I went into lightly.
“You look at this being a natural progression, but it’s not something I have taken on without trepidation.”
Referring to Europe’s thumping 17.5-10.5 win over a star-studded US team outside Paris in September, he added: “Ideally, we would play this match tomorrow with the same 12 guys.
“But’s it’s a new venue at an away match and, on average, we are likely to see three more rookies on the team and I want to make sure I help them find and edge and hopefully get a win.”
Harrington is the third Irishman in four matches to captain Europe after McGinley and Darren Clarke, who was at the helm in a 2016 defeat at Hazeltine.
Welcoming Harrington’s appointment, McGinley told skysportsnews: “I join the chorus of approval that this is the right decision.
“It is a natural graduation for Padraig, not just from his playing record, which is very stellar, but also through three vice captaincies.
“It is part of a succession plan that has been in place. 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.”
Two-time Ryder Cup player Paul Lawrie also welcomed Harrington’s selection, describing it as a “brilliant appointment”.