At the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Padraig Harrington has said he believes Darren Clarke will be appointed captain of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team, ahead of bookmakers’ favourite Paul McGinley.
“The inside track is edging for Darren, ahead of Paul, so I believe,” Harrington told Golf Monthly. “Paul and Darren would both make great captains. Hopefully they will go with Paul and then Darren. I certainly think this is Paul’s opportunity, as there is less chance of the captaincy going to Darren first and then to Paul, as there is from it going from Paul and then to Darren. There is also a strong case for Thomas Bjorn, but I don’t know if Miguel [Angel Jimenez] would be considered too old if he has to wait for the next two Ryder Cups.”
The destiny of the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy is an intriguing sub-plot at the Dunhill Links, particularly as all four prime candidates – Clarke, McGinley, Bjorn and Jimenez – are in the field this week. However, the captaincy decision is unlikely to be announced by the European Ryder Cup board before they meet at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship next January.
“You know one good thing?” added Harrington. “At least there are plenty of guys to choose from. We had four vice captains this year and they would all make good captains. Paul Lawrie would as well, and hopefully in eight to 10 years’ time my name will be considered.”
Scotland’s Lawrie has stated his ambition to a play at the 2014 Ryder Cup, with the added incentive of it being held at Gleneagles, in his home country.
Like Lawrie, Harrington is determined to play his way onto the team, having played in each of the six Ryder Cups previous to Medinah, dating back to 1999.
“Having played in six Ryder Cups, I am very determined to make sure I don’t miss the next one. Full stop,” said Harrington, who watched every shot of the 2012 Ryder Cup from home. “For the first couple of days I found it unusual watching rather than playing, but then like everyone else I got into the spirit of things on the Sunday. It was incredible.
“I did not think a European recovery on the Sunday was possible, although obviously a similar thing happened at Brookline. I have seen those situations before and I have seen teams get close, but Europe needed everything to fall into place at Medinah, and it did.”
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup and the 2012 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.