Harrington: "I have to find an edge as Ryder Cup captain"

Padraig Harrington and Des Smyth at the Irish Open in 2015

We analyse the main strengths of Thomas Bjorn's Ryder Cup captaincy after Europe appointed Padraig Harrington as their leader for 2020.

McIlroy has competed in the last five Ryder Cups, winning in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018.

Four-time Ryder Cup victor Harrington, who is not able to play at the moment having broken his wrist falling down the stairs at Christmas, acknowledged the size of the task he faced in winning at Whistling Straits, a course he knows well having competed three times there in the PGA Championship.

In the news conference to announce his appointment, Harrington highlighted his personality as being similar to that of Bernhard Langer, another European skipper who was immensely successful in forging a winning mentality.

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

"You look at this being a natural progression, but it's not something I have taken on without trepidation".

Irishman Harrington added: "I know there's words there, but the actions nowhere near match up". I felt it was the right time for me to go for it.

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"I think what they are really saying is that they liked what they saw and they would like a continuation of what they have seen and not to rock the boat too much".

"He'll be very diligent, there's no doubt about that, very confident and hopefully continue this great run of success we're having in the European team".

Harrington has served as a vice-captain at the last three Ryder Cups and appeared in the biennial contest against the United States six times as a player, beginning at Brookline in 1999. Harrington, whose experience of the Ryder Cup is vast, must make sure he is just as thorough in determining who is worthy of a pick.

"I will try and bring that all together and hopefully say the right things at the right time and get the best out of that team that provides a winning performance". "When I talked to the other players and potential captains going forward, it seemed to fit nicely that I go and do the away match". However, Harrington will know the alternate-shot format is an area where his men can gain an advantage.

Crucially, Bjorn knew exactly what he wanted and selected players accordingly.

Harrington himself is a 50/1 chance to qualify automatically for the team, while Sergio Garcia is an odds-on 1/3 shot to be part of Harrington's line-up, despite an infamous frosty relationship with the captain which was said to have improved after clear-the-air talks.

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