Sunday 23 November 2014

'Now I'll know if I'm cut out for Ryder Cup captaincy,' says Padraig

Karl MacGinty

Published 04/09/2014 | 02:30

Padraig Harrington views his role as one of Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley's five assistants at Gleneagles as an opportunity to display his credentials for one of the most prestigious posts in golf. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Padraig Harrington views his role as one of Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley's five assistants at Gleneagles as an opportunity to display his credentials for one of the most prestigious posts in golf. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Ryder Cup skipper Paul McGinley was born to lead… now he's handed fellow Dub Padraig Harrington a priceless opportunity to discover if he too has what it takes to become a European team captain.

"Absolutely thrilled" by McGinley's call to arms at Gleneagles in three weeks' time, Harrington relishes trying his hand in the backroom after six appearances as a player.

A sprightly 43, the three-time Major champion still bristles with desire to feel once again the rush of playing in the Ryder Cup but makes no secret of his ambition to captain Europe.

And Harrington views his role as one of McGinley's five assistants at Gleneagles as an opportunity to display his credentials for one of the most prestigious posts in golf.

"Absolutely I'd be interested in becoming captain. Part of being vice-captain is finding out whether you are suitable to do it," he insisted. "It's a different job being the captain than a player.

Selfish

"Being a player is quite a selfish thing. It's all about you," Harrington added. "The captain has to man-manage 12 people; to get on with all of them and to be able to organise everything. It's a different scenario.

"My record might suggest I look like being a future captain but getting in there behind the scenes will tell me a lot more and tell the people in the know a lot more about whether I'm possibly the right man to do the job."

Called up yesterday along with 2012 skipper Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez as McGinley brought his number of vice-captains to five, Harrington light-heartedly admitted: "Years ago I used look at vice-captains as being on a bit of a jolly but now I know there really is a lot of work to be done.

"Not having made the team, this is the next best thing. I'm really looking forward to being there to support Paul," he said of his former Ryder Cup and World Cup-winning partner. "I'm very proud of him being captain."

Irish Independent

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