Padraig Harrington has edged a little closer to throwing his hat into the ring for the 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy at Whistling Straits, just a month after saying that he wouldn't know for 18 months what he planned to do.
Speaking at Royal Birkdale, where he returned for his sponsors of 20 years, Wilson Golf, to complete a photo shoot at the venue where he captured his second Open Championship 2008, the Dubliner confessed that he was looking more at 2020 than 2022.
"I guess you’d think in terms of myself and Lee (Westwood) for the next one and maybe the one after that," he told the Daily Mail.
"Of course we don’t have the right to share it between us but it would seem to make sense for me to do it in America, and maybe Lee when it comes back to Europe.
"One thing’s for sure, I’d love to do the job one day."
When asked about the possibility of captaining Sergio Garcia following his comments post-Augusta that the Spaniard had been "a bad loser" in the past, Harrington said at Dun Laoghaire on April 25 that he was not ready to make up his mind.
"I won't know for a year and a half. It all depends on how I play. Clearly, Sergio would be available if I was captain, and I think no matter what our relationship is, it's the Ryder Cup and we've always gotten over it for The Ryder Cup. I think as I said, I think we're in a far better place than that now."
He added: "There's no doubt, right now, if I am the right guy for the job in 2020, I would believe I would have Sergio's support 100 percent."
Harrington would be 49 in 2020 and knows that he cannot afford to wait any longer with younger players also likely to emerge as potential captains for 2022 and beyond.
"Look, there seems to be an opportunity in 2020 for, you know, myself, I know Lee Westwood has put his name in the hat and maybe myself and Lee might be in and around who you'd be talking about in 2020, 2022, and then you know, 2020 is a good bit away, but you are starting to see other guys coming into the picture in 2022 anyway and 2024."
As for 2017, Harrington also told the Daily Mail that he sees Rory McIlroy targeting Gary Player's tally of nine major wins.
"I had a good chat with Rory recently, and tried to get a bit more into it," Harrington said.
"I do think his mind is set on nine majors and he’ll get to that. I don’t think he’s thinking 10. Why not?
"Everyone has a number, that’s the reality of life. Some players lose their focus after one and never get close to winning another.
"Even when he was having all his struggles in trying to win his first, Phil Mickelson always talked about winning majors not a major, and now he has five.
"I tried to take a leaf out of Phil’s book and managed to get to three, so perhaps that’s my number, although I’m hoping one day it will prove to be four.