Padraig Harrington chosen as captain of Europe’s team for 2020 Ryder Cup

Padraig Harrington speaks to the media Tuesday in Virginia Water, England, after being named Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2020.
(Andrew Redington / Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington was chosen as captain of Europe’s team for the 2020 Ryder Cup Tuesday and said he was putting his legacy on the line by taking the “daunting” role.

“It’s not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation,” Harrington, a three-time major champion, said when he was presented as captain at a media conference at the European Tour’s headquarters at Wentworth, England.

The 2020 Ryder Cup will be played at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Wisconsin.

The 47-year-old Irishman has served as vice captain for the past three Ryder Cups, most recently under Thomas Bjorn last year when Europe regained the trophy outside Paris. Bjorn was on the five-person panel that selected his replacement.

Harrington has been encouraged by what he said was the “unanimous” support of Europe’s players.


“Their confidence in me is hopefully going to be well-placed,” Harrington said.

Harrington played in six Ryder Cups and was on the winning team four times. He won the British Open in 2007 and ’08, and the U.S. PGA Championship in 2008 — a run of three titles in six majors.

He said his status in the game would be damaged if Europe loses the trophy.

Golf is more than a game to Padraig Harrington — it’s a life’s work »

“It really came down to whether I wanted to put what is a successful career on the line,” Harrington said. “Because you are putting it on the line when you become Ryder Cup captain. It is a different element to your career.

“A successful captain is great. A losing captain, it’s his fault.”

Harrington played Whistling Straits in PGA Championships in 2004, ’10, and ’15.

Europe has won nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups.