Padraig Harrington feels at 2026 Ryder Cup in his native Ireland will be “too late” for him to be captain and will put his hat into the ring for 2020 or 2022.
The three-time major winner won’t wait for the lavish Adare Manor, owned by billionaire JP McManus, to win the Ryder Cup as expected in 2026 and instead thinks that 2020, at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, would be the ideal time for him.
“I’d love to be a Ryder Cup captain down the road and putting my name in the ring is something that is happening sooner rather than later; I don’t think I’m playing my way on to any team too soon,” said the Irishman, speaking at the Open Championship launch at Carnoustie yesterday.
“2026 is too late. I would be somewhat out of touch and there will be a lot of good players coming on the scene who would looking for the captaincy then. As much as I’d like to be captain in Ireland, it’s too much of a risk to wait until then.”
Harrington thinks that it seems 2020 would be his best bet, although that would mean three out of the last four European captains being Irishmen.
“It would be good timing for me, 2020, for where I am in my career,” he said. “I’ll probably be finished playing in the US by then, and by 2020 I’d be back playing in Europe. If you’re Ryder Cup captain you would need to do that because of all the official duties.”
While at the end stage of his career on the main tours, the 46-year-old thinks that the Open represents the best chance for older players to win majors, as Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els and Darren Clarke have done this decade.
“It’s just the variety of shots that need to be hit, it doesn’t play into the hands of the young bombers,” he said. “It’s not just about hitting a high, straight shot, that won’t work around an Open course, there’s lot of options.
“If it gets sunny and not very windy than that favours the young bombers. But if it’s windy and a little bit bouncy, hitting the ball 320 yards can get you in a lot of trouble.”