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Published: 13:52 | 8/1/19

Harrington named Ryder Cup captain


Padraig Harrington has been named as captain of the European Rugby Cup team for 2020.

Harrington had been tipped to succeed Thomas Bjorn as captain of the European Rugby Cup team after Lee Westwood ruled himself out of the running and his appointment was confirmed by the European Tour at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

A winner of three majors, Harrington played in six Ryder Cups, winning four of them, and has been vice-captain in the last three under Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke and Bjorn.

A panel comprising the three previous captains, European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and a member of the Tour's Players Committee were tasked with selecting the new skipper and speaking after his appointment Harrington admitted he is putting his legacy on the line.

"Obviously I'm thrilled to be named as Ryder Cup captain for 2020, it's not something I went into lightly," he told reporters.

"You could look at this as being a natural progression from player to vice-captain to captain but it's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation.

"I really want to be a help. I want to hopefully leave the European Tour and Ryder Cup in a better place after two years, but I know we are going to a new venue, it's an away match, we're going to have on average three more rookies coming into the team.

"I have to be part of that team and ensure that I find an edge to make the team perform to the best of their abilities and hopefully get a win."

He went on: "It's something I did think long and hard about. It's possibly easier to be Ryder Cup captain at home, but I realise it was good timing in my career and probably the best chance for the team in an international setting, going to the US having me as captain at this time.

"Then it really came down to whether I wanted to be in the hat and put what is a successful career on the line.

"It's a different element to your career and we know a successful captain is great and a losing captain - it's his fault. I'm putting something on the line going out there."

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Getty Images/Andrew Redington

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