Padraig Harrington backs Europe to launch fightback at 2023 Ryder Cup

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Padraig Harrington backs Europe to launch fightback at 2023 Ryder Cup
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Padraig Harrington believes Europe have the young players needed to bounce back against the United States at the next Ryder Cup in Rome in two years’ time.

The Americans won 19-9 – the biggest margin of victory since Europe joined the Great Britain and Ireland team in the Ryder Cup in 1979 and the first time they had won all five sessions in that time

But despite their dominance and the fact the core of their young team are likely to make up the majority of their 2023 line-up, Harrington is confident of a European fightback when the event returns to the continent.

“There are young guys in this team that will be the heart of the team going forward,” he said. “Jon Rahm clearly, Viktor Hovland – there are young guys that will be there for a long time. But there’s a good heart to the team.

“Everybody keeps going on about the experienced guys but there is a really solid heart on this team of players, who are still coming into the peak of their careers. There are a number of guys in the middle of their careers now who should be moving on in their golf. They certainly haven’t peaked yet so we should see some strength going forward.”

Ian Poulter, who continued his unbeaten streak in Ryder Cup singles with yet another Sunday victory, echoed Harrington’s sentiments saying, “we have a team of good young players who will take this forward for many years”.

And Rory McIlroy, who like Poulter struggled to fire in the foursomes and fourballs as he had in the past before his own final-day singles win, warned that the current US line-up would be “formidable opposition” for the next 20 years.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Harrington is expected to be succeeded as skipper by Lee Westwood, who admitted he had probably played his last Ryder Cup for the team as the only other European singles winner at the age of 48 in Wisconsin.

Westwood, a vice-captain to Thomas Bjorn at the last Ryder Cup in 2018 who returned to the line-up in 2012, said of the captaincy: “I’ve played in a load of Ryder Cups and have been vice-captain for Thomas… and it’s something I’d love to do.

“I’m going to have to sit down over the next few months and weigh everything up. But I also still feel like I’ve got a lot of golf in me.”

Read More

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