Harrington up against it as Ryder Cup captaincy confirmed

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The 47-year-old Irishman was named captain for the 2020 matches at Whistling Straits during a Tuesday announcement at European Tour headquarters, taking over for Thomas Bjorn as he looks to continue a run of continental dominance in the biennial matches that includes seven wins in the last nine attempts.

Two-time Ryder Cup player Paul Lawrie also welcomed Harrington's selection, describing it as a "brilliant appointment".

Padraig Harrington has been confirmed as Europe's captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup, succeeding Thomas Bjorn in the role.

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.

Despite his anxieties, the Ryder Cup has adorned European trophy cabinets more often than American ones since the tournament was revamped in 1979.

Having said that, I doubt if we'll see the course set up in the same way as it would be for a major.

"I think it will mean a lot, it's a great honour for him", two-time Ryder Cup player Des Smyth told RTÉ Sport. And I don't take it lightly.

"It really came down to whether I wanted to. put what is a successful career on the line", Harrington said.

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And it hasn't taken players long to send their congratulations to the six-time appearance maker.

Things are not always going to go your way during a Ryder Cup, and it's important to have a captain who is wise enough to avoid stamping his own authority on the week.

Harrington has a storied Ryder Cup career, having represented Europe six times as a player - including being part of four triumphs. "I seem to be the right time and place for me in my career and in the Ryder Cup profile of other players and whose turn it is, but just because it seems like it is my turn it's not something I walked in to and said yeah it's my turn I should do it".

"I know we're going to a new venue, it's an away match, we're going to have on average three more rookies coming in to the team". However, Harrington will know the alternate-shot format is an area where his men can gain an advantage.

However, Bookmakers have been quick to make US favourites - although they are yet to confirm their skipper with the likes of Steve Stricker and Fred Couples in contention.

"I want to be a winning captain".

"He's become a leader in the team room", said Harrington. When you're a player, you are exclusively concerned with your ability to perform on the biggest stage of all and trying to get your game in optimum shape.

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