Just a few months on from Europe’s emphatic reclamation of the Ryder Cup in Paris, Padraig Harrington has been named as the European Captain for The 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.
The three-time Major Champion has a storied Ryder Cup career, having represented Europe six times as a player – including being part of four triumphs – and taking on a role of Vice-Captain in the past three editions of the biennial contest.
The 47-year old joins fellow Irishmen Paul McGinley (2014) and Darren Clarke (2016) to lead Europe and will be hoping to emulate the last European triumph on American soil – at Medinah in 2012.
“I have played under, and been involved with, many wonderful European captains since I made my debut in the contest 20 years ago and I would like to think that my captaincy will be a mix of all of them. I am very much looking forward to taking on this role.” he said.
Harrington made his Ryder Cup debut at The Country Club in Brookline in 1999 and was ever-present for the following five editions, helping Europe to victory in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010.
As a player, Harrington’s greatest single match points haul of four from five matches came in Europe’s record-breaking 18½ – 9½ victory at Oakland Hills in 2004. He resumed his partnership with Montgomerie to defeat Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in the fourballs and Davis Love III and Fred Funk in the foursomes, before teaming up with McGinley to beat Love III and Woods in the foursomes, before rounding off with a singles win over Jay Haas.
He was part of another stunning win by the same scoreline two years later, this time on home soil at The K Club in County Kildare, before rounding off his playing career in the contest as part of Europe’s dramatic 14½ – 13½ triumph at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales in 2010, partnering Ross Fisher to victory over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson in the foursomes and Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson in the fourballs.
He was named Vice-Captain for the first time by fellow Dubliner McGinley for the victory at Gleneagles in 2014, a role he returned to in 2016 at Hazeltine National under Darren Clarke, and again last September in France under Denmark’s Thomas Bjørn.
The former European Number One was chosen as Europe’s 2020 Ryder Cup captain by a five-man selection panel comprising the three most recent European Ryder Cup Captains – Bjørn, Clarke and McGinley – as well as the Chief Executive of the European Tour, Keith Pelley, and European Tour Tournament Committee representative Edoardo Molinari.
Harrington said: “It is a tremendous honour to be named Ryder Cup Captain and I am relishing the next 20 months as we work towards Whistling Straits and Europe’s defence of the trophy.”