Padraig’s Canine Ryder Cup Team

Ivan Morris

European Team Captain Padraig Harrington (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Out walking on Sunday within the 5-kms (by law), I was struck by the number of dog walkers I met and the different personalities of the dogs and their individual behaviours.

I came home annoyed – not by the dogs or their owners but the thought that if I were out playing golf I would not have encountered a quarter of the people (and their dogs) that had passed me by. I wish the Irish Government would get sense and allow golf to be played in two-balls, at least. What harm would it do? Alas, we now wait until April 26th.

The thought also occurred that if Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington was finalising his team for Whistling Straits and trying to gauge the different personality traits of the candidates, he might consider comparing them to various canine personalities. Are they lone wolves, like Harrington is or, capable of conforming and adapting to the team atmosphere and ethic? I have made a tongue in cheek stab at evaluating Padraig’s pack as follows:


Padraig Harrington (Wolf) – the undisputed leader who has been honing his immense physical endurance, acute intelligence and fortitude for millennia; surviving through many challenges. What the wolf says goes in the canine kingdom. He won’t bark twice.

Tyrrell Hatton (German Shepherd) – beautifully balanced and self-assured, with a laudable willingness to learn and lead from the front. A now seasoned Lieutenant dog, for sure.

Tommy Fleetwood (Afghan Hound) – you may think it’s all about the flowing hair but, the word hound is the giveaway. If Tommy gets his teeth sunk into an American leg, he won’t let it go until the final putt drops.

Jon Rahm (Rottweiler) – strong, intense and easily spooked. When aggravated the Rottweiler turns nasty and becomes capable of shooting five or six birdies in a row. That’s usually game, set and match in an 18-holes contest.

Rory McIlroy (Poodle) – intelligent and brave; maybe too much so. It can get him into trouble when in a fight with physically bigger and stronger, more street-wise canines. Barks too much, which frightens no one. Will be told in no uncertain terms by the wolf what is expected of him and he had better do it!

Victor Perez (Dalmatian) – sleek-looking, lanky and athletic, a tendency to rush in where cuter dogs stand back to size up the situation first. Gallant and loyal, prepared to die for the cause.

Paul Casey (Ridgeback) – bred to fight but has a fun-loving, loyal and humorous nature, which is perfect in the team room. It has brought him a strong plus record in the biennial matches.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Fox Terrier) – scrappy and fearless, especially when he has a putter in his paws.

Viktor Hovland (Beagle) – a bit undisciplined and inclined to wander off the scent but inexhaustible and will always come back to the job in hand with no fear or lack of commitment towards making the final kill.

Bernd Wiesberger (Doberman) – tall, muscular and powerful. May require a tighter rein than some of the others because of an inclination to lose focus and concentration, which is less likely to occur in 18-holes matches, of course. Can score extremely low on occasions.

Lee Westwood (Pitbull) – strong and dependable. Loves to fight and never gives up in his efforts to grab his target prey by the throat.

Bob MacIntyre (Collie) – Brought up in the highlands of Scotland where they breed their Collies hardy and intelligent. MacIntyre is all ears to learn and hungry for the wealth success brings. If the Pack Leader whistles for this ‘Collie’ to do round up a few points, Bob won’t have be told twice.

Francesco Molinari (Greyhound) – out of the running at the moment but watch him sprint if he hears the captain’s whistle. They say greyhounds have two speeds: all out 45mph or sleeping on the couch. ‘Molly’s’ current status is on the couch but he is ready to sprint. Greyhounds are superb family pets (we had three of them as kids) They will fight like tigers if the family honour is in peril.

Ian Poulter (Wire-Haired Terrier) – high energy and wants to be in the thick of everything. Barks too much when seeking attention but capable of winning fights with bigger more athletic dogs because of his tenacity and self-confidence.

Sergio Garcia (Mongrel) – street-wise, sassy, highly energetic, territorial and yappy. Captain Wolf may not appreciate the yappy bit and pass.

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One response to “Padraig’s Canine Ryder Cup Team”

  1. Rollo avatar

    And no place for the Open champion Ivan? Surely in front of Wiesberger and Molinari?

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