Padraig Harrington has revealed he will forgo his own on-course aspirations six-months prior to the 2020 Ryder Cup in order to turn his full attention towards steering Europe to victory in Wisconsin.
The 43rd staging of the biennial showdown is still some 18-months away and while Harrington admits he is already involved with off-course matters, he realises the stress that comes with trying to balance staying competitive and being fully committed to the European Team cause.
It will mean celebrating 25-years in the pro ranks by playing probably the shortest schedule of his career ahead of the September 25th, 2020 commencing war along the shores of Lake Michigan at Whistling Straits.
“It has been busy enough and surprisingly there’s been much happening since the inaugural announcement when there was quite a bit of stress, and then a few weeks of media so now it’s got into the early organisation,” he said.
“We’ve been looking at team rooms, hotel rooms and stuff like that and trying to figure out how much you have to get involved.
“So, it’s this nitty, gritty stuff but I’m sure and my kind of thinking is that I can probably play golf for about a year and then with six months to go it will certainly shut down pretty much all the aspirations I have on the golf course.
“I will still play but then there will be just too much going on.”
Harrington was then asked by Julian Tutt of SKY Sports if he would have preferred to have been a European Captain leading a team on European soil or on the opposition’s turf.
“Selfishly, you would prefer to be captain in Europe and there is no doubt about it as you have a lot more control and you will have clearly home advantage as that is a big deal in the match,” he said.
“You know, it’s right for me to go the States and I am the appropriate European player to lead the team there at this stage. So, it was my time.”
Harrington was commenting after posting a respectable two-under par 70 on the opening day of the co-sanctioned Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur.The triple Major winner headed to the Saujana clubhouse five shots behind Aussie Marcus Fraser and Spaniard Nacho Elvira who each posted seven-under par 65s.
It was Harrington’s first competitive round anywhere in 130 days since breaking a bone his wrist and he was understandably pleased to get through it unscathed.
“Yeah, the wrist is okay but then I am struggling a bit with my thumb and little finger as there is a lot of things going on when you put it in a cast for six weeks,” he said.
“It is just amazing how much periphery stuff that goes on, so I am trying to get all the different muscles, ligaments and all of them strengthened-up and working.
“I certainly didn’t think of them out there which was great.”