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'Padraig would be the front-runner for me' - Justin Rose backs Harrington for 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy

The Irishman has received the backing of Justin Rose to take over as captain at Whistling Straits in two years.

Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose at the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.
Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose at the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.

JUSTIN ROSE HAS backed Padraig Harrington to take over as Ryder Cup captain in 2020 as Team Europe attempt to secure their first title on foreign soil in eight years.

The Dubliner was a vice-captain under Thomas Bjørn at Le Golf National last month, as Europe secured a 17½ to 10½ victory in France.

Speaking last week, Harrington said that he would be open to taking over as captain at Whistling Straits, noting caution over the difficulty of securing a victory on foreign soil.

Rose was integral member of Europe’s success in Paris last month, and the Englishman has giving his backing to the three-time major winner.

Golf - 37th Ryder Cup - USA v Europe - Practice Day - Valhalla Golf Club European captain Nick Faldo with Padraig Harington and Justin Rose at the 2008 Ryder Cup. Source: Rui Vieira

“I would say that Padraig, for me, would be the front-runner,” Rose said speaking to Sky Sports News ahead of the 2018 British Masters.

“I would say as a three-time major champion, and clearly a European legend, Padraig is the front-runner, but you’ve also got Lee Westwood.

“It’s interesting when you try to project out who the possible captains are for the next 10 Ryder Cups. But if Padraig doesn’t do it this time then I’m not sure, you have got to start fitting guys in.”

The 47-year-old has also received the backing of Rory McIlroy, as Europe attempt to defend their title in Wisconsin in two years’ time. 

Harrington admitted that Europe would benefit from continuity in future tournaments, acknowledging that he would be open to taking the captaincy in the US for the good of the team.

“No-one wants to be a losing captain,” he said speaking to Off the Ball. “There’s no doubt that you’ve a better chance at home. You get more involved at home — you’ve no say when it’s away. But saying that, I think the guys in the team would like continuity.

“As regards to me going to the States — I think to give the Europeans the best chance it would look like they would line me up for the next one, because of my profile in the States.

“So it’s not a question of me saying ‘oh look, I’d like to do it in Europe because I’ve a better chance of winning’. Overall, Europe has a better chance of winning if I go to the States and somebody else does it in Europe. So for the good of the team, it would probably look like that.”

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Aaron Gallagher

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