Padraig Harrington: 2020 Ryder Cup Captain's Career Highlights
Though it may have been the worst kept secret in golf, the announcement of Padraig Harrington as Team Europe's captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup has been met with a great deal of excitement.
As a player who's pretty much universally liked, the three-time major champion will lead Europe's defence of their crown at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and, to help celebrate the announcement, we've decided to take a look back at his career highlights.
Here's what we've come up with...
First European Tour Victory
Just a few months after turning professional in 1996, Harrington announced himself to the watching masses on the European Tour by winning the Peugeot Spanish Open at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.
This win would stand him in great stead on this side of the Atlantic with a further 11 European Tour titles coming his way (as well as the three major championships listed below).
First Clarent Jug - Carnoustie 2007
A first career major championship came at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland - the beastly Open Championship venue that is widely-renowned as one of the most difficult.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia had taken a three-shot lead over American Steve Stricker into Sunday's final round, while the Irishman sat a further three shots behind.
In a topsy-turvy climax, Harrington found himself standing on the 18th tee with a one-shot lead after an impressive run before carding a double bogey after finding the Barry Burn twice.
Garcia had his own troubles on the final hole and the two men went into a four-hole playoff after which Harrington would hoist his first major trophy aloft.
Back-to-back Open Champion - Royal Birkdale 2008
Struggling with a troublesome wrist injury, it was far from certain that Harrington would get the chance to defend his Open title at Royal Birkdale.
He thankfully managed to tee it up and entered Sunday's final round two shots behind Greg Norman. Carding a solid 69 allowed Harrington to pull away from both Norman and Ian Poulter to secure a second Claret Jug in as many years, while also becoming the first European to defend the title since 1906.
PGA Champion - Oakland Hills 2008
Immediately after becoming back-to-back Open champion, Harrington captured a third major title at his very next opportunity - the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hill.
With a stunning final round 66 he would become only the fourth man in golfing history to win the Open Championship and PGA Championship in the same year.
Solid Ryder Cup Record
Team Europe's 2020 captain is a six-time participant and four-time winner of the biggest prize in global team golf.
He has enjoyed many highlights in the Ryder Cup, not least holing the winning putt in his singles match on debut at Brookline back in 1999. It was a putt that Harrington believed had won the Ryder Cup but, unfortunately for the Europeans, Team USA had other ideas in what infamously became known as 'The Battle of Brookline'...
Return to the Winner's Circle (Portugal Masters 2016)
A win at the 2016 Portugal Masters ended a winless spell spanning eight years on Tour.
Solid play and a great short game helped Harrington finish one shot ahead of Englishman Andy Sullivan who himself was attempting to go back-to-back having won the event back in 2015.
What do you think about Harrington's appointment? Who wins the 2020 Ryder Cup? Let us know below...
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