DUBLIN (Reuters) - Three-times major winner Padraig Harrington wants to be Europe’s Ryder Cup captain and received the backing on Monday of stalwart Rory McIlory to lead the team in their title defence in two years time.
Irishman Harrington, one of Thomas Bjorn’s vice-captains as Europe completed a crushing 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States on Sunday, is odds-on favourite to captain the team at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, according to Sky Bet.
“It’s an interesting one because I wouldn’t do it without a certain trepidation because it’s not easy, it really isn’t easy. It’s a tough, tough job,” Harrington told Irish national radio station RTE in an interview broadcast on Monday.
“But on balance yes, I want to be a Ryder Cup captain at some stage.”
Harrington, who won back-to-back British Opens in 2007 and 2008 before going on to win his third major at that year’s PGA Championship, played in six successive Ryder Cups from 1999 to 2010, helping Europe to four victories.
Still playing, the 47-year-old narrowly missed out on his first European Tour title at the Czech Masters last month where his second-place finish was by far his best placing in almost a year.
Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, a member of the victorious team in Paris and winner of four majors, believes Harrington’s success as a player across the Atlantic would make him a good choice.
“I’ve always thought Padraig would be a good captain in the United States. He’s won a lot of golf tournaments over there, he’s won a PGA Championship,” McIlroy was quoted as saying across local media.
“I think the continuity in the European camp having all these vice-captains this year and preparing for captaincy down the road has been a huge foundation of why we’ve been so good.”
Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Ed Osmond