Padraig Harrington is under no illusions about the size of the task awaiting him in the United States in 2020, with Europe’s new captain insisting his team’s Ryder Cup performance will define his career.
The 47-year-old Irishman will lead the holders at Whistling Straits having been part of six previous Ryder Cups as a player and a further three as a vice-captain.
Harrington, who was one of Thomas Bjorn’s vice-captains when Europe emerged victorious at Le Golf National four months ago, believes it is a natural next step for him to be a Ryder Cup captain.
However, the three-time major winner is also mindful that his reputation will be depend on how Europe fare next year.
“I’ve had a good, successful career as a golfer but I’m putting it on the line,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I’m putting my legacy on the line once you become Ryder Cup captain.
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) January 8, 2019
“It’s not an easy job, you’re going away from home. We’d love to have the continuity of having the same 12 players play tomorrow on the same golf course but it’s going to be different in the States.
“The captain has to find that edge to make sure that his team perform to the best of their ability. It’s just not easy to win away from home and beat the US.”
Harrington admitted a big reason for him taking the job was due to the support he had received from leading European players.
The likes of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia had previously suggested Harrington would be the ideal candidate to be the next captain.
“I did think long and hard about [whether] it was right,” Harrington said during a news conference.
“It’s possibly easier to be a Ryder Cup captain at home. I realised it was good timing in my career but I also realised it was also the best chance for the team in an international setting, going to the US, having me as their captain at this time.
“When you talk to the other players, I certainly have their support. When I talk to the other vice-captains and potential captains going forward, it seemed to fit very nicely that I go do the away match.”