Harrington talks up his Ryder Cup captaincy credentials

Harrington talks up his Ryder Cup captaincy credentials

Pádraig Harrington is not on an ego trip in his bid to become European Ryder Cup captain in 2020.

With three major trophies on his kitchen table, he does not need the captaincy to change his legacy as a player but he still wants to lead the team at Whistling Straits in Wisconisn.

Asked why he wants to take on such a pressurised role, he said: “There are a lot of reasons not to do it — you are putting yourself out there — but I think there are more reasons to do it. 

“I think I would be good at it. I believe I could help a winning team. First and foremost I believe I could do a job in getting Europe get over the line. I have to believe that.

“It is to my benefit as well to become a Ryder Cup captain. But I also think I have learnt enough that I can bring something to the table that could make the difference.

“The teams are so close in standard nowadays that the captain can make all the difference, good and bad. I believe I can give the European team that bit extra, bring experience to bear and do a good job. But it is not without trepidation that you take it on.”

While a multiple major-winner like Nick Faldo had little to gain in 2008 (and lost) and Ryder Cup stalwart Colin Montgomerie had much to lose in 2010 (and won), Harrington sees himself as somewhere between the two.

“I would hope I would fall between the two stools,” Harrington said at Carnoustie, where he replayed the playoff holes where he beat Sergio Garcia in 2007 as part of a media day for sponsors Wilson Staff as the countdown to The Open continues.

“I’ve had success on four Ryder Cup winning teams. I wouldn’t be trying and prove anything. And I am not dependent on it. 

“I want to go out there and do a good job for the sake of the team. I believe I can do a good job. I am very happy with my Ryder Cup record to date. I want to be captain because I can add to it. Not for any other reason.”

Montgomerie was seen as the right man at the right time for Europe when he was called in to win back the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010 following Faldo's controvesial loss at Valhalla.

Will Harrington be the right man for Whistling Straits?

"How could I be the right man before the next one is played? We will have to wait to see what happens in 2018 to know who the right man will be. All I know is that there is a good stream of Ryder Cup players who are coming on strong.

"You've got your Lee Westwoods coming around the corner, you've got Graeme McDowell, you've got Ian Poulter. You would say Ian Poulter even sooner but now he is back to form. You've got  lots of good players for 2024-26. You wouldn't want to be waiting around. There will be people who will be disappointed.   

"I think I can add to a team but if Thomas [Bjorn] wins this in 2018, there is great pressure on the guy in 2020. If Thomas loses there is great pressure. Who knows who is the right man at that stage. We will have to wait until 2018 is done with."