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Padraig Harrington accidentall...
Golf

Padraig Harrington accidentally reveals one of his Ryder Cup vice-captains

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

16:55 5 May 2020

Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has accidentally revealed Luke Donald as one of his vice-captain's for this year's tournament.

The Dubliner is due to lead the team of Europe's top golfers in their traditional biannual clash with the United States at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin this September.

Harrington was speaking about some phone calls he had been making in connection with his planning for the big event, when he let the news slip.

"I'm trying to prepare every day like I'm going to a Ryder Cup, not as normal in September, but to be as prepared as I can be," said Harrington in an interview with Sky Sports.

"I had phone calls today with Guy Kinnings (European Ryder Cup director), a phone call with one of my...Luke," referencing the former world number one from England.

Harrington laughed before trying to correct himself but he had already let the news slip.

"I nearly said the word, I possibly did say the word there. But one of my vice-captains, yesterday. That's not to be announced yet!"

Whether Europe get to defend their title this year is another matter as the likes of Rory McIlroy and John Rahm have both expressed their preference for the tournament to be rescheduled instead of going ahead without fans.

Added to that, Harrington would like to see the players get some golf under their belts before he selects his 12-man team.

"I talked to the stats guy today. Believe it or not, I sat down yesterday evening and had a look at how my team would look if I had to pick it now," he added.

"It was interesting because I obviously know the different models that are in place, depending  on when we get back to play so I had a little look at that.

"Whereas I am very happy with how the team is shaping up, I certainly would like to see form before I have to make those picks.

"So I'm really looking forward to us getting some play, obviously in the States, that needs to be the first and foremost if the Ryder Cup is going to go ahead, we really have to start playing the PGA Tour in June.

"I think we have to start playing golf in Europe at some stage, hopefully well in advance of the Ryder Cup, to give me some sense of how players are playing."

The three-time major winner believes that the new qualifying criteria is fair but he also confirmed that he will not be selecting all 12 players.

"I'm not getting 12 picks, that's for sure," Harrington added.

"The Tour have been very reasonable. They did the numbers on it, I asked for a few situations to do more numbers, and they presented that to the tournament committee to have a look.

"It's not just reasonable, it's actually quite fair whatever option I'll have in terms of picks. It's kind of irrelevant how many picks I get, the difficult pick is always going to be 11 and 12.

"Even if I had six picks, the last two would be the most difficult and they're the ones that are usually more controversial.

"It's not a huge deal in terms of how many picks I end up with, because it'll come down to two people at the end.

"But it's fair, and anyone that has played well will be well looked after in this system, and there will still be room for manoeuvre for some players who haven't played their way into the team so far."

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John Rahm Luke Donald Padraig Harrington Rory McIlroy Ryder Cup Whistling Straits

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