Ryder Cup: Padraig Harrington 'putting career on line' as new Europe captain

Harrington was a vice captain under Thomas Bjorn when Europe won the Ryder Cup in September

Irish golfer Padraig Harrington has been confirmed as Ryder Cup captain for Team Europe ahead of the tournament next year. "Because you are putting it on the line when you become a Ryder Cup captain", Harrington said.

The three-time major victor succeeds Dane Thomas Bjorn and becomes just the second golfer from the Republic of Ireland to take the reins for the tournament after Paul McGinley, who was victorious in 2014.

"There seems to be a natural progression, " Harrington said during a news conference at European Tour headquarters near London.

"Obviously I'm thrilled", said the three-time major victor.

"He's been a great ambassador for the country and golf and I'm sure he's going to do a great job for Europe as well".

"The players want continuity, it makes my job easier that I have their confidence, they've spoken to me publicly and privately". "We've had some great captains over the past number of years".

'Obviously I'm thrilled to be named as Ryder Cup captain, it's not something I went into lightly, ' said the three-time major victor.

So, step forward, Harrington who ticks all the future captaincy boxes.

The fact Duval's first appearance as a Ryder Cup vice-captain came at Le Golf National makes him more of an outside contender for the top position.

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Harrington has a storied Ryder Cup career, having represented Europe six times as a player - including being part of four triumphs.

The defender, who can play at centre-back as well as right-back, moved to the Bundesliga from Lille in 2016 and soon established himself as a star man for Stuttgart, starting all 34 league games last season.

"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".

I really feel conscious that I have to find that edge.

The U.S.is expected to name its 2020 captain sometime this spring.

Harrington played in the biennial event in six consecutive contests, including winningm teams in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010. 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.

Like Harrington, Stricker has been a three-time Ryder Cup vice-captain and with Harrington is confident Sticker will be a formidable opponent in 2020.

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

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