Padraig Harrington wary as Ryder Cup captaincy puts 'legacy on line'

Padraig Harrington to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Padraig Harrington to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Padraig Harrington says there is "no doubt" Rory McIlroy will be included in Europe's 2020 Ryder Cup team as he dismissed doubts about the Northern Irishman's commitment.

While Harrington was the obvious candidate to captain Europe in 2020, the Team USA captaincy is less clear-cut, although Wisconsin native Steve Sticker seems to be the popular choice.

The 47-year-old was part of Europe's last three Ryder Cups as vice-captain and featured in the tournament six times as a player, finishing on the winning side on four occasions.

Bjorn's side put on a ruthless display while outplaying the United States in a 17.5-10.5 victory at Le Golf National in September past year.

"I've won three majors in my career but taking the Ryder Cup captaincy is a different level", Harrington was reported as saying by BBC Sport.

Bjorn and past captains Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are on the panel that selects the next captain along with European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and a member of the Tour's Players Committee. This is not something I went into lightly.

"It's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation", Harrington, a three-time major champion, said.

"He's got a lot of things in his favour, I think Thomas was blessed with the best European team we ever had in France, I think Pod will be blessed with an even better team than that. So I am putting something on the line going out there". "It's something I will take on over the next 18 months".

Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: "Padraig Harrington says he has been encouraged by the support for him as the new Ryder Cup captain but it hasn't done enough to increase the confidence of punters".

He played in six straight Ryder Cups from 1999 and was on the winning team four times, collecting 10 1/2 points.

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

Former captain Paul McGinley welcomed the appointment. We've had some great captains and I've learnt from all of them.

Padraig Harrington poses with the Ryder Cup after being appointed as the European Ryder Cup Captain for The 2020 Ryder Cup.

"The second thing is the golf course that we're playing on is a European style golf course, it's a golf course that really suits the European style".

"I can only look at his actions".

"You know when you're going up against a guy like that that he is mentally tough and strong". I know they want continuity.

Paul McGinley described Europe winning in the U.S. as a "monumental" task but one that Padraig Harrington is the best man for.

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