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'I'm the least concerned' - Pádraig Harrington confident Rory McIlroy will play Ryder Cup

Team Europe’s new captain is already down to work.

Pádraig Harrington was named as Thomas Bjorn's successor this week.
Pádraig Harrington was named as Thomas Bjorn's successor this week.

NEWLY INSTALLED RYDER Cup captain Pádraig Harrington has no doubts that Rory Mclroy will tee up at Whistling Straits in 18 months’ time for Team Europe. 

The Holywood star has recently indicated he will focus on American events this year, meaning he may not fulfil the requirements to be eligible for European Tour membership next season. 

It could leave the four-time major winner ineligible for selection against the United States in 2020. 

“I’ve seen his actions,” Harrington said on the Late Late Show last night, however, when asked if he was concerned about McIlroy’s eligibility.

“I’ve seen him at the Ryder Cup. Nothing gives back to Rory McIlroy like the Ryder Cup. He adores it. He loves the adulation he gets from the crowd, he loves the respect he gets in the team room.

“He’s a leader in the team room. He’s only 30 years of age and he’s a leader in the team room. Guys look up to him and again, as individuals, we don’t get that. 

“And he likes teams; he’s a big fan of rugby, he would’ve loved to have been a rugby player himself, he would’ve loved to have been in the team environment and this is his one opportunity where he really gets that. His actions are very much for the Ryder Cup.”  

Harrington was confirmed as Thomas Bjorn’s successor earlier this week, having served as a vice captain for the last three tournaments. 

Having begun his Ryder Cup career at Brookline in 1999, the Dubliner has been on the winning side four times; in 2002, 2004, 2006 at the K Club and then 2010. The three-time major winner insists he has the hard edge required of a captain to ensure he adds to those victories next year:

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

 

Ahead of a huge weekend of Heineken Champions Cup action, Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey assess the provinces’ chances of putting a foot in the last eight:


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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