Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington leads Europe against the USA in 2020 at Whistling Straits.
Padraig's career has been a rock solid, steady climb to the top of the golfing world, step by step, to the pinnacle of leading the European Ryder Cup team.
From his earliest days starting out, Padraig's golf has always been on an upward curve, quiet and unpretentious, the power of compounding behind the scenes has seen him gain spectacular success. Three Major Championship wins in the space of thirteen months, multiple career wins across the globe, from Japan to the Bahamas, PGA and European Tour Player of the Year awards in 2007 & 2008, an Irish Open win in 2007, an Olympian, six Ryder Cup appearances and now the final accolade,
Ryder Cup captain for 2020 at Whistling Straits, USA.
A glittering amateur career that started with a playoff defeat in the Connaught Boys at 15 years of age and culminated in three Walker Cup appearances saw him waltz through tour school at his first attempt. I would love to tell you it was tough, but the truth is the most stressful time for us at tour school was playing chess in the evening. We both were, and remain, highly competitive. The picture above of Dr. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips, co-founders of the Titleist Performance Institute working with Padraig is typical of his dedication to the cause.
The war is won far away from the battlefield.
His entrance into Tour life followed his natural upward curve, a run of top ten finishes culminating in a maiden Tour win on only his 10th start at the 1996 Spanish Open. More stellar play saw him finish his opening season on tour in 11th place on the European Tour Order of Merit. He continued his lifelong love affair with playing for his country with appearances at the Dunhill Cup and World Cup for Ireland. This shot above is probably his greatest ever shot under pressure, after playing flawlessly for 17 holes to lead the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, he found water twice down the 18th, but played the most exquisite pitch to four feet which he eventually holed enter a four-hole play-off and go on to win his first Major.
On such moments life turns, and the curve continued upwards!
3 Major titles in just thirteen months!
Love at first sight - Padraig plays in his first Ryder Cup
In 1999, Padraig made his first appearance in a Ryder Cup and has made six appearances since up to and including 2010. He has been part of four winning teams and has played 25 matches, winning 10.5 points. He has served as a Vice Captain three times, two of those have been winning teams.
The Ryder Cup
a brief history from a European point of view!
The event started way back in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts and was dominated in the early days by the American team. The trophy was donated by Englishman, Samuel Ryder and originally, the event was contested by the American and English teams. This early domination continued all the way up to 1979 when the continental European players joined the fray to become the European Ryder Cup team. It is from thsi point that Europe started to take a hold on the competition for a number of reasons. Obviously, the strength in depth of the team increased as we had a bigger pool of players to pick from but something else has emerged that has brought unparralled success to the team.
Tony Jacklin captained the team from 1985 to 1989, winning two matches including an historic victory in the USA at Muirfield Village and a tie in 1989 at the Belfry. Then Bernhard Gallagher took over and captained for three matches, winning the last match on American soil at Oak Hill Country Club, (our own Phillip Walton securing the winning point!). Then the magic formula appeared as we rotated the captaincy to include vice captains that would then assume the captaincy at some stage in the future. This has worked a treat with a very obvious team bond being created which the American team seem to lack.
The score since 1985 is Europe 11.5 - USA 5.5 and the overall score since it was created is 26 points to the USA and 14 points to Europe (11.5 of the Euopean points have been gained since 1979). The most appearances for the bi-annual match is Phil Mickelson with 12 events. Most points gained by any player is a European with 25.5 points, Sergio Garcia. Padraig has played 6 times and been on four winning teams. His record reads played 25 matches - won 10.5 points
Best 5 minutes you will spare today!
In honour of our new Ryder Cup Captain, here are the final round highlights from his first Major win at Carnoustie.
"It was a beautiful day!"
Last Word goes to our new Ryder Cup Captain
I haven't proved anything but I've done a lot to get here, I don't think I was the player destined to go out and do it so... I've worked hard, I'm a worker. It's been a long road.
Padraig Harrington after winning his first Major!
I sense it will be an exciting journey for the next twenty months as Padraig's Ryder Cup team takes shape. One thing is for sure; he will leave no stone unturned in his quest to overturn the American team in their back garden. A near impossible task for sure but you sense Padraig will relish being the underdog yet again!
Talk on Friday
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Tadhg Harrington is a full time, professional golf instructor, and owner of the Harrington Golf Academy, based in Dublin, Ireland. He is a graduate of the Titleist Performance Institute and Setanta College. He is the eldest brother of three-time time Major Champion, Padraig Harrington.
He succeeds, employing empathy, passion and exceptional customer service, teaching above the noise, the quick tips, and the latest fads and is truly unique in the Irish golf industry.
The Harrington Golf Academy provides long term coaching programs designed to bring sensory processing to motor learning skills. Tadhg teaches the long game at Drynam Park Golf Centre and short game at Roganstown GC. His business partner, Ex European Tour Player, Rebecca Codd, teaches full time at Clarity House on the Belgard Road in Tallaght!