Captain Padraig Harrington believes his legacy is on the line as Europe look to retain the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
Padraig Harrington - "The Ryder Cup Impacts My Legacy"
In only a week's time, we will see 24 of the world's elite descend on Whistling Straits for the 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup.
Captaining the side into battle for Team Europe is three-time Major champion, Padraig Harrington, a player who has seen more-or-less everything within the game of golf.
Making his first Ryder Cup appearance back in 1999, the 50-year-old has been involved in the last three Ryder Cups as a Vice Captain, making the step up to Captain after being announced on the 8th January 2019.
Leading his army of 12 into Wisconsin, Harrington has said pre-event, “there are very few things that can affect my golfing legacy.
"If I win another tournament, it doesn’t make much difference. It’s even questionable whether winning another Major would. The Ryder Cup impacts my legacy," said Harrington
"My ego is attached to my golf and there is no question the Ryder Cup will have an effect on that. Being a losing captain could definitely have an effect on who I feel I am. That’s something that would have to be dealt with.
“I want to make sure everybody has a great experience where these are the best days of their lives. I could go through all those cliches. Ultimately I want to win. I can control being a good captain without necessarily controlling the result.”
Having been in involved with a number of different Ryder Cup teams over the last 20 years, Harrington is all too familiar with the different styles of previous Captains, the most infamous being Sir Nick Faldo's in 2008, which Harrington actually played in.
“I’ll give Nick an out here because I could have fallen into this trap. He believed – and this suited me, by the way – that everybody played golf like he did. He never needed anybody or anything else when playing a Ryder Cup.
"He just focused on getting his game ready. At that Ryder Cup, he assumed that’s how we all thought. Getting himself individually ready was best for Nick. We have figured out since then that not everybody plays that way. You can’t make the mistake of believing everybody thinks like you.
“I didn’t want to take this job because it was my turn or my right. There is a lot of pressure on this for me because it’s a one and done. I don’t have a few goes. A successful team is a successful captain. A losing team is a failed captain. It is unfair but that’s the way it is."