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Padraig Harrington named European Ryder Cup Captain for 2020

Padraig Harrington has been named as the European Captain for The 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 25 – 27, 2020.

The three-time Major Champion has a storied Ryder Cup career, having represented Europe six times as a player – including being part of four triumphs – while latterly he has brought his extensive experience to the role of Vice-Captain in the past three editions of the biennial contest.

The 47 year old joins Paul McGinley (2014) and Darren Clarke (2016), as professionals from the island of Ireland to lead Europe and will be hoping to emulate the last European triumph on American soil – at Medinah in 2012 – as Europe defend the trophy won memorably at Le Golf National last September.

As a player, Harrington made his Ryder Cup debut at The Country Club in Brookline in 1999 and was ever-present for the following five editions, helping Europe to victory in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010.

He was named as Vice-Captain for the first time by fellow Dubliner McGinley for the victory at Gleneagles in 2014, a role he returned to in 2016 at Hazeltine National under Darren Clarke, and again last September in France under Denmark’s Thomas Bjørn.

The former European Number One has collected 30 titles worldwide and famously secured his first Major in The 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, defeating Sergio Garcia in a play-off. He successfully defended the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale the following year and became the first European to win back-to-back Majors when he added the 2008 US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills a few weeks later.

Harrington was chosen as Europe’s 2020 Ryder Cup captain by a five-man selection panel comprising the three most recent European Ryder Cup Captains – Bjørn, Clarke and McGinley – as well as the Chief Executive of the European Tour, Keith Pelley, and European Tour Tournament Committee representative Edoardo Molinari.

Harrington said: “It is a tremendous honour to be named Ryder Cup Captain and I am relishing the next 20 months as we work towards Whistling Straits and Europe’s defence of the trophy.

“I have played under, and been involved with, many wonderful European captains since I made my debut in the contest 20 years ago and I would like to think that my captaincy will be a mix of all of them. I am very much looking forward to taking on this role.”

The Irishman claimed a total of 10½ points over his six Ryder Cup appearances, starting at Brookline in 1999, when he teamed up with Miguel Ángel Jiménez in the day one foursomes to halve with Davis Love III and Payne Stewart before claiming his maiden singles victory, defeating Mark O’Meara by one hole.

His first experience of a European victory came in the next edition at The Belfry in 2002 where he took two points from his four matches – partnering Colin Montgomerie to beat Phil Mickelson and David Toms in the fourballs and defeating Mark Calcavecchia 5 and 4 in the singles.

Harrington’s greatest single match points haul of four from five matches came in Europe’s record-breaking 18½ – 9½ victory at Oakland Hills in 2004. He resumed his partnership with Montgomerie to defeat Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in the fourballs and Davis Love III and Fred Funk in the foursomes, before teaming up with McGinley to beat Love III and Woods in the foursomes, before rounding off with a singles win over Jay Haas.

He was part of another stunning win by the same scoreline two years later, this time on home soil at The K Club in County Kildare, before rounding off his playing career in the contest as part of Europe’s dramatic 14½ – 13½ triumph at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales in 2010, partnering Ross Fisher to victory over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson in the foursomes and Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson in the fourballs.

Photo: Getty Images

PADRAIG HARRINGTON PROFILE

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Harrington joins field for Valderrama

Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington has become the latest addition to the field at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, as the Irishman targets a place in the final Rolex Series events of the 2018 Race to Dubai.

Harrington has been on a strong run of form of late, with three top tens in his past five events, and he made a late decision to travel to the Andalucia region of Spain in order to build on that momentum on a golf course upon which he has enjoyed some strong results.

Pep Anglés©RC Valderrama

The Dubliner has a string of good performances at the famous venue of The 1997 Ryder Cup, including a runner-up finish in the Volvo Masters in 1999 and a top five in the 2000 WGC-American Express Championship.

Having registered a top 30 finish last year as his fellow Major winner Sergio Garcia claimed a glorious victory, Harrington is relishing the opportunity to return to the renowned Robert Trent Jones Sr-designed course.

“Valderrama is one of the best golf courses we have in Europe,” said Harrington, who was one of the five Vice Captains in the winning European team for The 2018 Ryder Cup. “It’s a great tournament venue and a really good course to play.

“I’m just outside the automatic qualifying spots for the Turkish Airlines Open, so I need to make a few more points to get to Turkey. So it’s a great opportunity for me to go to a course I’m very familiar with, and get a bit of sun on my back too, so I’m looking forward to it.

“My form has been good, so hopefully I can take that form into the week, because I certainly need a decent performance. I thought I would finish better at Walton Heath but I left a few shots out on the golf course. Hopefully I can play well this week at Valderrama and get the points that I need.”


José Mari Olazábal©RC Valderrama

Last year, Garcia delighted Spanish fans with an emotional victory in Sotogrande, as he sealed his third win of the season to add to his maiden Major title at Augusta National as well as the Omega Dubai Desert Classic trophy.

Garcia will return to defend his title as he plays for the first time since becoming the record points-scorer in The Ryder Cup, beating Sir Nick Faldo’s record by a half a point with a total of 25.5.

Harrington also joins the victorious 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn in the field, as well as two more of the Vice Captains – 23-time European Tour winner Lee Westwood and another former European Tour Number One Robert Karlsson.

This year’s tournament, which takes place from October 18-21, will once again be sponsored by the Autonomous Government of Andalusia with the support of the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

The Spaniard set up his charitable foundation in 2002 for the purpose of contributing to the social inclusion of economically-deprived children through social assistance benefits and the practice of sport as free-time activity.

Tickets for the 2018 Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation start at €15 for the Pro-Am on Wednesday October 17, €20 for Thursday and Friday and €30 on Saturday and Sunday. Children aged under 14 are admitted to the event free of charge when accompanied by a ticket holding adult. Tickets are available now HERE

The Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation is sponsored by the Council of Tourism and Sport of the Junta de Andalucía through the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union, with the added institutional support of the Diputación de Cádiz, the San Roque City Council and the Royal Andalusian Golf Federation. It also enjoys the support of La Reserva de Sotogrande, Rolex, Heineken, Dubai Duty Free, Santander Private Banking, Shell, Exterior Plus and Samsic Iberia. Only Water, Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud, Coca-Cola, Varma and Korporate Technologies Group are official suppliers.

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