Stackstown's delight as Padraig gets nod to lead Ryder Cup bid

Pádraig Harrington

Three-time major victor Padraig Harrington fears suffering defeat as Europe's Ryder Cup captain will leave an enduring stain on his successful career.

Following Europe's demolition of the United States in France a year ago, Harrington had been viewed as the only candidate to preside over a defence.

Harrington, who has won three majors and played in six successive Ryder Cups from 1999 to 2010, was a vice-captain when Europe took back the cup under Thomas Bjorn at Paris's Le Golf National previous year.

Harrington, of Ireland, was a vice captain on the past three European teams, victories at Gleneagles in 2014 and Le Golf National in 2018 and a loss at Hazeltine in 2016.

'Obviously I'm thrilled to be named as Ryder Cup captain, it's not something I went into lightly, ' said the three-time major victor.

"We have seen once or twice in the past - once, anyway - where your captain has done a half-hearted job and it doesn't end well", said the Irishman, after his appointment was announced at the European Tour's headquarters at Wentworth.

"I'm well aware that it's win or nothing, that's the way it goes". I suppose you could look at this as being a natural progression, you move on from player to vice captain to captain. 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 really want to be a help, I want to hopefully leave the European Tour and Ryder Cup in a better place after two years.

Harrington has been encouraged by what he said was the "unanimous" support of Europe's players and former captains.

"I think it will mean a lot, it's a great honour for him", two-time Ryder Cup player Des Smyth told RTÉ Sport. "Because you are putting it on the line when you become Ryder Cup captain".

A victor in four of his six Ryder Cup appearances as a player, Harrington was also a vice-captain in 2014 and 2016 under Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke. Their confidence in me I feel will be well placed. "We've had some great captains over the past number of years".

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

"I know there's words there, but the actions nowhere near match up". Thankfully we are going to Whistling Straits which is just a strong golf course.

"I remember getting scalded on one of the team meetings for laying up into a hazard".

The U.S.is expected to name its 2020 captain sometime this spring.

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