Has Harrington missed the Ryder Cup captaincy boat?
Padraig Harrington jokes about his vice-captaincy role at Gleneagles

Padraig Harrington jokes about his vice-captaincy role at Gleneagles

Pádraig Harrington will be an assistant captain for the second Ryder Cup running this September but it remains to be seen if he will ever get the captaincy.

With Lee Westwood declaring his interest in the job for the Irish Course at Whistling Straits in 2020, Harrington may have to go for Paris in 2018.

Yes, he has won three majors but you could argued that his chances of the 2018 job are diminished, not just because he would be the third Irish captain in a row after Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke, but because Thomas Bjorn is the best placed continental European to get the nod.

With immediate past captains José María Olazábal, McGinley and Clarke the men who will sit down with Keith Pelley to choose the 2018 skipper, Harrington would not be an automatic choice.

Bjorn is well placed and Harrington would likely lose a popularity contest with Westwood, who could also be a 2018 rival if his form doesn't improve.

With Ian Poulter fast coming up on the rails since he hit 40 back in January, the chances of getting the job in 2020 or 2022, when Harrington would be 51 and Luke Donald or Sergio Garcia would be in their 40s, must also be considered.

Harrington's best window of opportunity was arguably to go up against Clarke for this year's captaincy at Hazeltine, where the Dungannon man will be captain at the age of 48.

Having said after Gleneagles that McGinley's brilliant performance and the demands placed on the captain made him less enthusiastic about wanting the job, he's in an interesting position.

Is it really worth Harrington's while to take on the role for the money?

As a three time major winner and the man who ended an eight-year European drought, he's got little to gain and a lot to lose.

As he said when betting that Colin Montgomerie would not go for a second Ryder Cup captaincy in 2014 having won in 2010 to cap a storied Ryder Cup career, "it would be madness for him...why risk all that?"

Looking at all Harrington has achieved in the game, we might ask the same question.