Harrington named European Ryder Cup captain

Padraig Harrington and Des Smyth at the Irish Open in 2015

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Harrington, 47, would lead Europe's bid to retain the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next year.

The three-times major victor had been the clear favourite to succeed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn for the defence at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, after having served as vice-captain at the last three Ryder Cups.

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.

"I've won three majors in my career but taking the Ryder Cup captaincy is a different level", Harrington was reported as saying by BBC Sport. "It's not something I went into lightly".

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'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. "I don't think I ever thought I wasn't going to do it, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons". Winning this event on foreign soil is, as recent scorelines at both Hazeltine and Le Golf National prove, perhaps the most hard task in the game, and Harrington recognises that it will, in his words, "put my legacy on the line".

"I am very encouraged by the support I have received from the players, " he said. England's Lee Westwood would have been another contender, but he made it known publicly that he preferred to wait for the 2022 Ryder Cup in Rome.

The victor of The Open in 2007 at Carnoustie, The Open in 2008 at Royal Birkdale and the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, Harrington went 9-13-3 in six consecutive appearances for Europe from 1999 through 2010, playing on four winning teams.

Irishman Harrington added: "I know there's words there, but the actions nowhere near match up".

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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.

"I have to understand that it's very black and white".

"He gets the glory, the opportunity to be loved on the golf course".

"Players are interested in being under me as a captain".

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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. They want to see what I have to give, which is nice. "Because you are putting it on the line when you become a Ryder Cup captain", Harrington said.

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