Padraig Harrington - "The Ryder Cup Impacts My Legacy"

Padraig Harrington - "The Ryder Cup Impacts My Legacy"

Padraig Harrington Ryder Cup Legacy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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 (opens in new tab) for the 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup.

Captaining the side into battle for Team Europe is three-time Major champion, Padraig Harrington (opens in new tab), 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.

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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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Padraig Harrington Ryder Cup Legacy

Faldo in 2008. USA would win the Cup by 16.5 - 11.5. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

“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."

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