Philip Reid: Pádraig Harrington deserves Ryder Cup captaincy

Eur still involved Captain Bjorn is joined by McDowell Westwood Karlsson Harrington and Donald at Wentworth yesterday

LEE WESTWOOD "jumped at the chance" to be a vice-captain for this year's Ryder Cup, even though it nearly certainly ends his remarkable playing record in the biennial match.

Harrington, who is good friends with Bjorn, had requested the Swede delay naming his vice captains for as long as possible in order for the Dubliner to be given ample time to improve his golf during the year, but the announcement today appears to spell an end to his chances.

"They all possess strong personalities but each of them will also bring something different to the team, giving us great balance".

Since making his debut in 1997, Westwood has played in the last 10 contests, one short of Nick Faldo's record, and was on the winning side seven times, compiling a total of 23 points bettered only by Faldo (25), Bernhard Langer (24) and Colin Montgomerie (23.5).

"So when Thomas asked me to take that role I was obviously delighted and jumped at the chance". I'm focusing on can I see us winning with the players that we have? Who knows, one of them may even spring a surprise victory or two and qualify for the team in a playing capacity.

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Bjorn's assistants have played in a combined 26 Ryder Cups with Harrington playing six times and being vice-captain on three occasions. You know, I've known Thomas since 1996 when he beat me for Rookie of the Year, so we have had very close careers over the years. The experts at Golfbreaks.com can help with all aspects of your Ryder Cup experience, from accommodation and ticket packages to hospitality and travel and playing some of the fantastic nearby courses.

The Ryder Cup is unlike any other tournament in golf and the atmosphere is something that every golf fan should experience.

The best golfers from Europe and the United States will descend on Le Golf National in France to determine who will win the sport's premier team competition.

"It is a huge honour to be announced as one of Captain Bjørn's backroom staff and comforting to me that I will be in Paris in some shape or form this year". This week's BMW PGA Championship marks the next phase in the qualification process with points earned at European Tour events from Wentworth until Made in Denmark multiplied by 1.5 on both the World Points List and the European Point List.

Europe will be aiming to regain the cup at Le Golf National in Paris from 28 to 30 September after losing 17-11 to Team USA at Hazeltine two years ago.

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