London: Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington has declared his interest in captaining Europe at the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Harrington has played in six European Ryder Cup teams and has been a vice-captain under Paul McGinley in 2014 and Darren Clarke two years later.
The 46-year-old is expected to be named by current European skipper Thomas Bjorn as a vice-captain for the next edition of the Ryder Cup against the United States in France in September.
But Harrington has his sights set on being Europe’s captain for the 2020 tournament, especially because he would be aged 55 by the 2026 Ryder Cup.
He believes it would be too risky to wait until then, given he would be a good many years away from the main European Tour.
“I would love to be a Ryder Cup Captain down the road,” Harrington told reporters on Tuesday.
“I see my game at the moment that putting my name in the ring to be Ryder Cup Captain is coming sooner rather than later as it does not look like I will be playing my way into this year’s team.
“But as regards to 2026, it’s too late for me to wait. It would be too much of a risk.
“I would be somewhat out-of-touch with players by 2026 and there would a lot of good players coming on the scene by 2026.”
Harrington has the pedigree to lead Europe’s top stars after winning two British Open titles and the PGA Championship during his career.
The 2020 Ryder Cup is to be staged at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and it would pit Harrington possibly up against the likes of England’s Lee Westwood and Scotland’s Paul Lawrie for the captaincy.
“There are good players who are playing now who will be looking for the captaincy in 2026,” Harrington added.
“It would me creating a risk that I might not get the job.
“So, I don’t think I will be waiting around for 2026 as much as I would love to be the captain in Ireland but I think the risk would far outweigh the reward of waiting.
“It would be just good timing for me in terms of my career to be the captain in 2020.” — AFP