London: Europe captain Padraig Harrington named Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits yesterday.
Karlsson performed the same role under Thomas Bjorn when Europe regained the trophy at Le Golf National in Paris last year. The 50-year-old made two appearances in the biennial event as a player, helping Europe to a record-equalling win at The K Club in 2006 and playing in the defeat at Valhalla two years later.
Harrington, speaking ahead of the PGA Championship at Ryder Cup Europe’s
headquarters at Wentworth Golf Club, said: “Anybody involved in 2018 would have seen this as a no-brainer pick.
“He’s very logical, very straight, he doesn’t let the emotions get involved. He’s a brilliant vice-captain. We’ve played Ryder Cup matches together but ultimately he provides a great sounding board for myself.
“There will be other vice-captains but you have to wait for other guys who could make the team. I need a vice-captain now. He’s an icon for the northern Europeans and I need access to those guys.”
Karlsson said: “It’s fantastic. Padraig asked me a little while ago and I am really looking forward to this process and being part of a team again and helping Padraig along the way.”
The qualification campaign for the 2020 Ryder Cup begins this week and will conclude in a year’s time back at Wentworth at the 2020 PGA Championship.
The 2020 Ryder Cup will be played at Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin from September 25-27, 2020
Europe will travel to Wisconsin as holders following their 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States in France last September. It was Europe’s ninth victory in the past 12 contests.
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