Colin Montgomerie was 47 when he captained the Ryder Cup team in 2010. Padraig Harrington wants to be a Ryder Cup player at the same age. Credit: Golffile.iePadraig Harrington insists his goal is to play in the 2018 Ryder Cup at the age of 47.

The struggling Dubliner has been tipped as a potential European skipper in Paris in seven years’ time. But he believes he is about to play the best golf of his life and sees no reason why he can’t aim for what could be his 10th Ryder Cup cap at Le Golf National.

Gunning to become a Ryder Cup golden oldie, Harrington said: “In my head, at this very moment, I will be playing. 

“As much as I’d love to captain the team, I am very much a player at the moment and potentially going to play the best golf of my life.  I know I turn 40 this year but in my head I feel pretty young and ready to go.”

Paris were the long-time favourites for the 2018 Ryder Cup despite late support for Madrid following the death of Spain’s five-time major winner Severiano Ballesteros 11 days ago.

But Harrington believes that despite the fact that emotions were running high, the best of the five candidates venues got the nod in the end.

Thrilled for France and its players, Harrington told RTE Radio: “It is a tremendous achievement and I think one that’s well deserved.

“They have given an awful lot to the European Tour over the years in terms of players and the event and I think going there gives a degree of certainty.

“We all know it is one of the best golf courses in Europe and well suitable for holding the Ryder Cup. It’s the safe bet, let’s say. You are guaranteed a great Ryder Cup.”

Padraig Harrington in action at Le Golf National. He’s got a missed cut and a second place finish to he credit in the French Open at the new Ryder Cup venue.The death of Ballesteros fuelled hopes that the European Tour would award the Ryder Cup to Madrid as a tribute to the Spaniard’s enormous contribution to European golf.

But Harrington believes that the powers at Wentworth came to the right decision after a two year process that saw Paris and Madrid compete with Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.

He said: “As much as there is an emotional pull because of Seve, France have put a lot into this. They really do deserve it. They have put in a solid bid all the way through. They did everything right and as much as it would have been great for Madrid and great for Seve’s legacy, Paris is the deserved winner here.”

Harrington believes the European Tour can still honour Ballesteros by replacing its logo with new version featuring the iconic image of Seve punching the air.

Harrington said: “When they brought out the new logo two years ago I said, why couldn’t we use something with more connection for us at the time.

“It is an iconic image of Seve punching the air in St Andrews, it’s the one he had tattooed on his arm and would look fantastic on the European logo.

“He is an iconic figure - there are a lot of deserving people - but Seve is the heart of the European Tour.”

Nursing a knee problem ahead of next week’s BMW PGA at Wentworth, the six-time Ryder Cup star reckons he’s on the right track with his game despite missing four of his last six cuts.

He said: “I am an optimistic person when it comes to my game and I like what I see. I am very happy with where my golf swing is and is going and I’m very happy with where my mental game is going.

“Obviously things have to be brought to the absolute 100 percent but I am happy with the direction and the understanding I have at the moment and I like what I see on the golf course.”