Ryder Cup 2020
Jan 8th, 2019
Harrington named Europe 2020 Ryder Cup Captain
Whistling Straits – prepare for an Irish invasion!
Words: Tim Southwell
Whistling Straits better brace itself for an Irish Invasion after Padraig Harrington was confirmed European Captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup...
6 Ryder Cups, 4 wins and 10.5 points. That's Padraig Harrington's record. He's been Vice Captain 3 times and now he's in charge when Europe defends the Ryder Cup on US soil in 2020.
Padraig, 47, was a vice-captain in France in September when Europe won the trophy back under the leadership of Thomas Bjorn who famously had a tatoo done ot celebrate the occasion.
After receiving the backing of Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, this came as no great surprise. Plus Harrington has won six times on American soil, an experience that will come in very handy in the melting pot of Whistling Straits. Not to mention the fact that he's won three majors, including the 2008 USPGA at Oakland Hills
Luke Donald and Lee Westwood had been talked up as potential captains, but Donald is probably too young and Westwood harbours ambitions of being in the team, plus he seems to prefer the 2022 Rome option.
Harrington becomes only the second Irishman to captain the side, after Paul McGinley in 2014. He's currently out of golf action, recovering from a broken wrist, but he'll be straight on the captaincy case.
Picking Harrington to lead the team at Whistling Straits makes perfect sense: Home advantage can be massive but Harrington has spent most of his tour life in the US, has won there multiple times, is popular amongst US golf fans and will have no fear of playing on away soil.
The last time Europe played in the States they lost 17-11 at Hazeltine in 2016. September's landslide 17½-10½ victory under Bjorn returned the golf world to its axis, making it a 7th win in the last 9 events.
The US are yet to name their next captain, with 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples and Steve Stricker – who was born in Wisconsin – among the leading candidates.
So, it's either Harrington v Couples or Harrington v Stricker. Bring it on. In 18 months time...
AND ANOTHER THING!