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Darren Clarke names Pádraig Harrington as Ryder Cup vice-captain for Hazeltine

Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn also announced as assistants.

Harrington assisted Paul McGinley in Scotland in 2014.
Harrington assisted Paul McGinley in Scotland in 2014.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

EUROPE’S RYDER CUP captain Darren Clarke has this afternoon named three of his vice-captains for the 2016 edition of the biennial match against USA.

The Northern Irishman unveiled Pádraig Harrington, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark as his assistants at a press conference at the PGA Championship in Wentworth.

Harrington, who was part of Paul McGinley’s backroom team for the victory at Gleneagles in 2014, featured in six Ryder Cups as a player while it will be the fourth time Bjorn as fulfilled the role of vice-captain.

The trio have plenty of Ryder Cup experience between them, although it will be Lawrie’s first time as a vice-captain having played in two in 1999 and 2012.

Harrington made no secret of his desire to qualify for Clarke’s team but a poor start to the year quickly ended his slim hopes of being part of the 12-man panel for Hazeltine.

“I was delighted when Thomas, Pádraig and Paul all accepted the invitation to become Ryder Cup Vice Captains. They needed no persuading,” Clarke said.

Ryder Cup Trophy Tour - Royal Portrush Golf Club Clarke announced his vice-captains at Wentworth this afternoon. Source: Niall Carson

“The three bring a wealth of experience and knowledge and their input will be invaluable to Europe’s cause. I could not have asked for anybody better to be standing shoulder to shoulder with me in the bid to bring The Ryder Cup home.

“I have known and been close to Thomas for many years and I know just how passionate he is about team golf’s greatest competition. He has had a major influence already both on and off the course at previous Ryder Cups and I know that will continue at Hazeltine.

“Padraig’s outstanding career has included three Major championship successes and his presence in the team room will bring a big confidence factor to Europe’s 12 representatives.

“Paul is a highly respected major championship winner and knows exactly what it will take to reach our intended destination. His calm, considered approach and strength of character will be of immense value.”

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Clarke will name his two remaining vice-captains later in the summer, which is expected to be after the Open Championship in July.

US captain Davis Love III has named Tiger Woods, Tom Lehman, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk as four of his deputies.

The 2016 Ryder Cup takes place in Minnesota from 30 September to 2 October.

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