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Pádraig Harrington: 'I believe that we did our job and it just wasn’t our week'

The Dubliner could do little to stem the red tide all weekend.
Sep 27th 2021, 8:32 AM 30,903 30

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON WILL have plenty of time to reflect on Europe’s record-breaking defeat to the United States at Whistling Straits. 

Heading into Sunday’s singles trailing 11-5, Harrington knew he needed his side to pull off something that was never before achieved in the tournament. 

Ultimately, the tourists were humbled with the US winning out 19-9. 

Europe won by nine points at Oakland Hills in 2004 and The K Club in 2006, while the United States also won by the same margin at Walton Heath in 1981.

Harrington was quick to praise his counterpart Steve Stricker and his side, saying: “They obviously got it right this week, a very strong team, but I’m happy for Steve Stricker. He’s one of the good guys in golf. If you’re going to get beat by a captain, that’s a good captain for sure.

“He obviously got his plan right. Whatever their prep was, they did a good job, and they came out and started well and kept the momentum going. It was just a tough one to overcome.

“I believe that we did our job and it just wasn’t our week. It’s difficult being a captain. I think I did what I needed to do.

“I’m quite a practical person, but I know I needed to be more than that when you’re the Ryder Cup captain. I do think I managed to bring these guys together, and, okay, we didn’t get the results we wanted, but I think we were a team, and that’s the most important thing at the end of the day.”

Stricker has ruled out a second spell as Ryder Cup captain, meanwhile. 

Asked if he would like to captain the side again, with their defence of the trophy scheduled for Marco Simone Golf Club in Italy in 2023, Stricker said: “I don’t think it’s going to happen.

“It’s mapped out and there’s guys in positions to be the next captains. It was an unbelievable experience, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad it’s over.”

Two-time major winner Zach Johnson, who was one of Stricker’s vice-captains in Wisconsin, is favourite to be given the task of leading the US to a first win on European soil since 1993.

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And Johnson’s opposite number is likely to be Lee Westwood, who has made no secret of his desire to succeed Harrington as Europe’s captain after making his record-equalling 11th appearance as a player at Whistling Straits.

Westwood became emotional in the post-event press conference as he spoke about winning his singles match against Harris English with his son Sam on his bag.

“It might be the last match I’ve played in the Ryder Cup,” Westwood said. “I’d rather it wasn’t, but I’m 49 next April, and the likelihood is it is. I got to share it with my son. Won my point.

“They are special moments out there. We get to represent Europe out there this week. It’s a big place. The other team gets to represent the USA. Big place. Represent a lot of people. If you haven’t got pride and passion, then it’s not for you. Don’t even bother turning up.”

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