Padraig Harrington to captain Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup, Steve Stricker to lead USA Team


Harrington will remarkably become the third Irish-born European Captain in the past four Ryder Cup’s after Paul McGinley captained the victorious 2014 European Team at Gleneagles and with Darren Clarke captaining hapless 2016 side that lost at Hazeltine.

The 47-year old Dubliner became the overwhelming favourite when England’s Lee Westwood confirmed late last year, he was not interested in the 2020 Captaincy and instead, he is focussed on leading Europe in 2022 at Rome.

Harrington’s seemingly only rival ahead of Tuesday’s 1pm (UK time) announcement is Paul Lawrie but with both McGinley and Clarke as two on the five-man voting panel it was always be Harrington.

If we do learn on Tuesday Lawrie were to be in the 2020 captaincy mix, and as many believe, then his non-selection for the Whistling Straits role sadly will end any hope the Aberdonian, who will be aged 54 in 2022, of captaining a Ryder Cup side.

And after Thomas Bjorn led Europe to victory last October those on the winning the European Team, including Rory Mcllroy and Justin Rose, have been out-spoken in declaring they want ‘continuation’ in the naming of the 2020 European Captain.

So, step forward, Harrington who ticks all the future captaincy boxes.

He’s played on five of six victorious European Teams and has been a vice-captain on the past three Ryder Cup’s including working closely with Thomas Bjorn in helping steer Europe to an emphatic seven-point success last October in France.

Harrington said: “I know a number of players have come out and said they feel I should be the next captain.

“I think what they are really saying is that they liked what they saw and they would like a continuation of what they have seen and not to rock the boat too much.

“And having been a vice-captain three times, I realise how much work is behind the scenes in being a captain.

“We all know the teams are so well balanced nowadays that the captain can make all the difference.”

Stricker should be announced also very shortly as 2020 replacement for Jim Furyk. He played in three USA Ryder Cup teams and on five winning Presidents Cup sides while he captained the USA Team to victory in the 2017 Presidents Cup.

Like Harrington, Stricker has been a three-time Ryder Cup vice-captain and with Harrington is confident Sticker will be a formidable opponent in 2020.

He said: “Steve’s a solid bloke. “Good guy. Tough. Not a man to underestimate.

“This is a guy who has come back from the driver yips. This is a guy who has become a world class player a couple of times late in his career without the firepower and arsenal other players have.

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

“So yes, I think Steve will be a nice Ryder Cup captain. He’s the guy you want to play. He’s tough but very straight. He’s as straight as they come.

“You know you’ve got a game when you’re playing against him. But there’s no messing from his side.”



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