Ryder Cup captain Harrington defends Rory McIlroy on Euro Tour comments

Ryder Cup captain Harrington defends Rory McIlroy on Euro Tour comments

"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 defense of the trophy".

He takes over from 47-year-old Bjorn for next year's contest in Wisconsin, where Europe will be bidding to defend the trophy won in convincing fashion in Paris in September.

Four-time Ryder Cup victor Harrington, who is not able to play at the moment having broken his wrist falling down the stairs at Christmas, acknowledged the size of the task he faced in winning at Whistling Straits, a course he knows well having competed three times there in the PGA Championship.

Padraig Harrington will lead Europe into the next Ryder Cup.

Thomas Bjorn has given his backing to Padraig Harrington, who will succeed him as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the tournament in 2020.

He said: "I felt it was the right time for me to go for it". I suppose you could look at this as being a natural progression, you move on from player to vice captain to captain.

"He's got a lot of things in his favour, I think Thomas was blessed with the best European team we ever had in France, I think Pod will be blessed with an even better team than that".

"As I would have seen, Paul's went very well, he was very organised and it really did go smoothly".

I really want to be a help. "But it's not something that I take on without a certain amount of trepidation".

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Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: "Padraig Harrington says he has been encouraged by the support for him as the new Ryder Cup captain but it hasn't done enough to increase the confidence of punters".

He may have won just three of his 11 Ryder Cup matches as a player, but the level-headed and popular Stricker is the favorite to lead the USA.

"We were always playing catch up, we were playing a great team, so you learn a lot in adversity".

The number of wild cards has varied in recent years, with Jose Maria Olazabal having just two in 2012 and Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke allotted three each in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

"He gets the glory, the opportunity to be loved on the golf course".

"But I don't put myself under the same pressure, I don't worry about it so much".

"You know when you're going up against a guy like that that he is mentally tough and strong".

"I know we're going to a new venue". "Because you are putting it on the line when you become Ryder Cup captain". I know it's an uphill struggle to beat the the US but these are good golf courses.