Pádraig Harrington might have had the misfortune of captaining Europe to a record-breaking defeat to the USA in Whistling Straits two years ago but it appears to have been no reflection of his captaincy.
In a recent interview with Golf Digest, former Ryder Cupper Paul Casey reveals that the players caddies all chipped in to buy Harrington a Rolex watch such was the high esteem he was held in and still is.
“I’ll tell you how good a captain Padraig was,” Casey said. “The caddies bought him a watch. They all got together, bought him a Rolex and brought him to tears when they presented it to him in Dubai, a few weeks after the matches. That said so much. Caddies normally don’t like dipping their hands in their pockets for players. But it was actually the flip side of what was going to happen if we won. Padraig was going to buy every caddie a watch. He was so highly respected.”
Casey won’t be involved for Europe at next month’s Ryder Cup nor will fellow LIV golfers Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood but he admits if he were in captain Luke Donald’s shoes he would call up former European talisman Poulter and maybe included some of the other European stars of the past behind the scenes.
“I would still have [Ian Poulter] be involved. That’s what is going to be missing in Rome, guys like Poulter and [Lee] Westwood in the locker room. I’ve been in those locker rooms. The pundits and the commentators have not.”
Expanding on his point, the Englishman hopes the divisiveness in golf can be repaired and see some of Europe’s LIV stars included on Ryder Cup teams in the future.
“The Ryder Cup is so valuable in terms of what it gives to golf in Europe, not just monetarily. We don’t want that to be damaged any more than it has been already. I don’t watch a lot of golf outside of the majors. But I will certainly watch the Ryder Cup. And I might just have a piece of Euro team clothing on under my top. I won’t have the commentary on though,” he said with a laugh.