Padraig Harrington has been confirmed as the European Ryder Cup captain for next year’s away leg of the biennial matches at Whistling Straits in America.
Harrington has been a vice-captain in each of the last three editions, after making six appearances as a player, four of which resulted in victories for Europe, and he has been charged with the responsibility of retaining the trophy in Wisconsin.
The three-time major champion was the overwhelming favourite to succeed Thomas Bjørn, who led Europe to a seven-point win at Le Golf National in an impressive response to USA’s resounding triumph at Hazeltine in 2016.
Bjørn was on the European Tour committee, along with previous captains Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley, that selected Harrington as the next captain, with the 47-year-old Dubliner becoming the obvious choice for the role after Lee Westwood took himself out of the running and hinted that he would welcome the job in 2022.
Harrington can now begin his planning as Europe bid for their 10th victory in 13th contests since 2002, and the Irishman is relishing the challenge of retaining the trophy on a course he competed on in three PGA Championships.
“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,” said Harrington at the official announcement held at Wentworth today [Tuesday]. “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.”