Sunday 22 September 2019

Padraig Harrington to earn Ryder Cup vice-captain role

Pádraig Harrington. Photo: Josh Hedges/Getty Images
Pádraig Harrington. Photo: Josh Hedges/Getty Images

James Corrigan

Pádraig Harrington and Lee Westwood will be announced as Ryder Cup vice-captains at Wentworth today as Europe captain Thomas Bjorn takes a huge step in forming his back-room team for September's match near Paris.

Bjorn already has the Swede Robert Karlsson in his corner and now that they are both seemingly resigned to not making Le Golf National as players, Westwood and Harrington are obvious picks to assist the Dane in his mission to win back the cup and ensure Europe do not lose on home soil for the first time in 25 years.

Of course, Westwood and Harrington could enjoy a dramatic upturn in form in the forthcoming months and the locker-room door will remain open.

However, with both outside the world's top 100, the time is right for Bjorn to get the pair officially on side and the famed Surrey course is the ideal place to unveil two high-profile appointments, particularly in the week it hosts the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.

Westwood swapping his clubs for a buggy will signify the end of a remarkable career as one of Europe's most consistent and prolific playing stalwarts.

The 45-year-old has appeared in 10 consecutive matches since making his debut in 1997 and has been on the winning team a record seven times with 23 points earned.

This will be Harrington's third successive stint as a vice-captain, with the three-time Major champion having appeared in six teams as a player.

Harrington, 46, has slipped to 227th in the world and has missed six of eight cuts this year.

Jim Furyk, the US captain, has already named Davis Love III, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker as assistants. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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