Luke Donald 'Humbled' By Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup Captain Endorsement

Luke Donald recently became favourite to take over the European Ryder Cup captaincy

Harrington and Donald clapping
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After being endorsed by Padraig Harrington for the 2023 European Ryder Cup captaincy, Luke Donald revealed at The American Express on Saturday, that he was: "very humbled by [Harrington’s] comments.”

“I saw it when I woke up. Obviously, very humbled by [Harrington’s] comments. I would love to have the opportunity to do that. I haven’t spoken to anyone at the European Tour so nothing is confirmed. I don’t know where I stand with that.”

The 44-year-old, who served as a vice-captain in 2018 and 2020, admitted to collecting plenty of notes and ideas whilst working under Thomas Bjorn and Harrington: “Things I thought looked good. Things that I’ve learned from other vice-captains, things that would help me if I ever did get the opportunity to be a captain someday. I am a detail-oriented guy.

"I've had great experiences with the Ryder Cup, played on four and won four and been a vice-captain at a couple and just love the tournament itself and what it represents. If I was given the opportunity, I would dearly love it and be very grateful and honoured to take it up", said Donald.

Harrington and Donald talk at the Ryder Cup

Harrington and Donald chat at the 2020 Ryder Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harrington, who captained the European side at Whistling Straits in 2020, told the the Daily Mail: "All I can say is that Luke [Donald] would be great. Behind the scenes, he does a terrific job. His management style...he knows. He's got the experience, and I'd thoroughly recommend him."

The three-time Major champion's words were also echoed by Graeme McDowell, who served alongside Donald as a vice-captain last year at Whistling Straits: "He brings a lot of experience and he commands a lot of respect,” McDowell said. 

“He’s been in enough team rooms as a player and as a vice captain to understand what a good environment looks like. I think Luke would be fantastic. He’d be thoughtful and intelligent.”

The captains and vice captains at the 2020 Ryder Cup

Captain Harrington along with his vice captains at the 2020 Ryder Cup.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Previously, it had been Lee Westwood who was the favourite to take over the captaincy. However, the 48-year-old ruled himself out back in November, saying “it’s almost a full-time job nowadays and that is something I can’t commit to while I’m in the top 50 and still competitive. The Ryder Cup is very close to my heart and I would only take on the role if I believe I could give it 100 per cent."

With Westwood out of the picture, it seemed to be either Donald or Henrik Stenson who would become the next captain, but, only recently, Stenson was left with a Ryder Cup captaincy dilemma, with it being reported that the Swede is set to have to choose between Ryder Cup captaincy or the reported Saudi Golf league, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x