Irish star Padraig Harrington has been named as the European Captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Europe defend the trophy won by Thomas Bjorn and his team at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September 2020 and it will be Harrington who will lead the team.
The three-time Major Champion has extensive experience with Europe in the Ryder Cup, playing six times whilst also been a vice-captain for the last three matches.
Harrington said: “It is a tremendous honour to be named Ryder Cup Captain and I am relishing the next 20 months as we work towards Whistling Straits and Europe’s defence of the trophy.
“I have played under, and been involved with, many wonderful European captains since I made my debut in the contest 20 years ago and I would like to think that my captaincy will be a mix of all of them. I am very much looking forward to taking on this role.”
However, Bookmakers have been quick to make USA favourites – although they are yet to confirm their skipper with the likes of Steve Stricker and Fred Couples in contention.
Harrington has promised to ‘find an edge’ but it’s the United States who are favourites to land the Ryder Cup on home soil at 8/13, with Harrington a 6/4 shot to win the match and defend the trophy the Europeans won so emphatically in Paris last year.
Harrington himself is a 50/1 chance to qualify automatically for the team, while Sergio Garcia is an odds-on 1/3 shot to be part of Harrington’s line-up, despite an infamous frosty relationship with the captain which was said to have improved after clear-the-air talks.
It’s 8/15 that just one Irishman takes a place as one of the 12 European competitors, with Shane Lowry a 4/1 to shot make the team whether by automatic qualification or a wildcard.
Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “Padraig Harrington says he has been encouraged by the support for him as the new Ryder Cup captain but it hasn’t done enough to increase the confidence of punters.
“There’s a lot of form to be assessed between now and the tee-off next year but home advantage seems to be swaying the betting patterns at the minute, because the United States are popular 8/13 favourites to get their hands back on the trophy.”