Padraig Harrington, the new European captain, says Rory McIlroy will “never miss out on a Ryder Cup” after seeing him grow into an on-course leader in the biennial event.
McIlroy has hinted he may not meet the European Tour membership criteria this season and recently described the circuit as a “stepping stone” for the PGA Tour.
However, Harrington is confident that the 29-year-old’s decision to concentrate on the US circuit at the moment will not diminish his desire to add to four Ryder Cup appearances.
“When it comes to the Ryder Cup, I’ve seen him in the team room,” said Harrington, who will lead Europe into battle in the 2020 match at Whistling Straits. “Rory gives so much in that team room. He loves it. He is very passionate about the Ryder Cup. He will never miss out on a Ryder Cup.
“Nothing gives him a buzz like the Ryder Cup. He loves the team element. Rory is now an unofficial playing captain in that team room. He’s a leader in there and he’s not going to get that anywhere else. So he will make every effort to be in my Ryder Cup team and I am sure he will be there.”