Friday 24 May 2019

Padraig Harrington set to be confirmed as Europe's 2020 Ryder Cup captain next week

Pádraig Harrington. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Pádraig Harrington. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Phil Casey

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is expected to be named Europe's captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup on Tuesday.

Harrington has been the odds-on favourite to succeed Thomas Bjorn since Lee Westwood said in October that he would prefer to do the job in Rome in 2022 and described Harrington as the "better candidate" to lead the team at Whistling Straits.

And the European Tour has now called a press conference at its Wentworth headquarters on Tuesday at which Harrington is set to be handed the task of retaining the trophy won in emphatic fashion at Le Golf National in Paris last summer.

Bjorn had suggested there was no need to rush into appointing his successor, but speaking during the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of October, Harrington was keen for the decision to be taken sooner rather than later.

"I keep getting asked and I'm trying to say it hasn't been decided, but once you start talking about it eventually it starts looking like I think I am," the 47-year-old Irishman said. "It puts me in an awkward position so I'd prefer the clarity.

"I understand what Thomas is saying in that it is a distraction, but being the captain in the States is different to being the captain in Europe. In Europe you're heavily involved in the set up of the course and different things. It's 18 months of your life."

Harrington played in the Ryder Cup six times between 1999 and 2010 and has been a vice-captain for the past three contests.

The captain is selected by a panel comprising the previous three captains - Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley - European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and a member of the Tour's Players Committee.

Earlier on Thursday, Harrington revealed he will not start his 2019 campaign until February after slipping on the stairs at home over Christmas and breaking a bone in his wrist.

Harrington had planned to contest the European Tour events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai later this month, but is now targeting a first appearance of the season at the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am from February 7-10.

Press Association

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