Harrington admits he must become a leader

Padraig Harrington admits that he must turn over a new leaf and become a team-room leader for Europe at Celtic Manor.

Under pressure to perform well on the course after being handed a controversial wildcard by skipper Colin Montgomerie for next month’s Ryder Cup clash with the US, the Dubliner knows he will be expected to step up his leadership efforts in a team featuring six rookies.

The 39-year old Dubliner, who has gleaned just two halves from his last nine games, is not a natural leader.

But confessed yesterday that he must do better in that department at Celtic Manor and help improve on the negative atmosphere that wrecked Europe’s hopes at Valhalla two years ago.

“It is up to me to make my presence felt in the team room, to give players the benefit of my experience,” Harrington said. “Definitely at the last Ryder Cup we lacked a leader in the team room - previously Monty and Darren (Clarke) had assumed the role, whereas last time round nobody did.”

Harrington added: “In the end, Monty’s pick is a vote of confidence in myself — now it is up to me to ensure that he made the right choice.

“In my mind one of the reasons that he has picked me is that he wanted more experience, as there are a number of rookies in the team.

“One of the things that I learnt from the last Ryder Cup is that it is not just on the course where experience is needed.”