Ryder Cup captain Harrington expects McIlroy to play in next year’s tournament

Padraig Harrington to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Padraig Harrington's wealth of Ryder Cup experience both on and off the course make him the ideal choice as European captain for 2020, says Rob Lee...

However, the 47-year-old Irishman is well aware of the damage a Ryder Cup defeat can do to a captain's reputation having played under six-time major victor Nick Faldo in Europe's defeat at Valhalla in 2008.

The three-time major victor succeeds Dane Thomas Bjorn and becomes just the second golfer from the Republic of Ireland to take the reins for the tournament after Paul McGinley, who was victorious in 2014.

Irish star Padraig Harrington has been named as the European Captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup.

Thomas Bjorn has given his backing to Padraig Harrington, who will succeed him as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the tournament in 2020. You could look at this as being a natural progression, a move on from player to vice-captain to captain but it's not something that I take on without a certain amount of trepidation.

But just because it seems like my turn, it's something I thought long and hard about. "That's something I don't take lightly". They want to see what I have to give, which is nice. "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".

Padraig Harrington says he "thought long and hard" about taking the Ryder Cup captaincy for 2020 on U.S. soil but believes it has come at the right time.

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"The reminder we have every day is the Harrington Room where we have all his trophies from his amateur days right through to the Walker Cup, Ryder Cup, then the Majors and competitions around the world", Mr King said.

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.

Harrington has served as a vice-captain at the last three Ryder Cups and appeared in the biennial contest against the United States six times as a player, beginning at Brookline in 1999.

I really feel conscious that I have to find that edge.

Harrington himself is a 50/1 chance to qualify automatically for the team, while Sergio Garcia is an odds-on 1/3 shot to be part of Harrington's line-up, despite an infamous frosty relationship with the captain which was said to have improved after clear-the-air talks.

"I think Steve will be a nice Ryder Cup captain". When you're a player, you are exclusively concerned with your ability to perform on the biggest stage of all and trying to get your game in optimum shape.

"You know when you're going up against a guy like that that he is mentally tough and strong".

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