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Sports

Harrington chosen as Europe's Ryder Cup skipper

media Padraig Harrington won the Ryder Cup four times while he was a player. Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Padraig Harrington's immediate future has been unveiled to all and sundry. For the best part of the next two years the 47-year-old will live and breathe the Ryder Cup.

The Irishman was named captain of the Europe team for the 2020 competition at the Whistling Straits course in the American state of Wisconsin.

The objective will be to keep the trophy that Thomas Bjorn's men claimed so masterfully at the Le Golf National just outside Paris in September 2018.

In a 17½ -10½ demolition of America's top golfers, Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood became the first European pair to win all four of their matches. Molinari's victory in the singles made him the first European to furnish his team with five points.

Harrington, who hoisted the trophy four times during an illustrious playing career, can only dream his men will unleash such heroics on the greens and fairways in America when he leads them into the fray.

"Becoming captain is not something I went into lightly," Harrington said after he was appointed. "I'm thrilled but it's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation."

Despite his anxieties, the Ryder Cup has adorned European trophy cabinets more often than American ones since the tournament was revamped in 1979.

European talent

From its inception in 1927 as a competition between America's and Britain's finest golfers, the Americans dominated. The British secured only three of the 19 tournaments. That poor run continued even after Irish golfers joined the British ranks in 1973.

However fortunes have changed since the 1979 influx of Spanish, Italian, German and Swedish golfers. Europe has harvested 11 of the 20 events. However only four of those successes have been earned in the United States.

"It will be an away match," Harrington warned. "I have to ensure that I find an edge to make the team perform to the best of their abilities and hopefully get a win."

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