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Harrington: McGinley has the fight and spirit to be successful captain

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Jan 2013 10:18 | Comments

Padraig Harrington has welcomed the appointment of Paul McGinley as Ryder Cup captain
Padraig Harrington has welcomed the appointment of Paul McGinley as Ryder Cup captain

Padraig Harrington has said that Paul McGinley has the fight and spirit to make a successful Ryder Cup captain after he was confirmed as leader of the European team at Gleneagles in 2014.

McGinley saw off Colin Montomerie and Darren Clarke amongst others to win the captaincy of the team and Harrington feels his pedigree shone through in the selection.

He told RTÉ Radio 1’s Sport at 7: "It really is deserved. I suppose the great thing about it and I said it to Paul earlier today, that if he didn’t get the captaincy, he had the players’ support.

"To have the support of your peers, there is nothing better than that. It is a tremendous achievement for him and a tremendous achievement for Ireland. He will be our first Ryder Cup captain which is hard to believe.

"A lot of people are saying that the reason Paul stood out from the players point of view is his organisational skills, the work done behind the scenes and that he knows a lot of the younger players who potentially are going to be in the team.

"But one of the things a lot of people don’t know about him is that he has quite a bit of fight and spirit in him. He has a lot of passion.

"He tends to put the head down and drive forward a lot. That can be very important in the team room.

"He doesn’t just bring his ability to work things out, he actually bringd the passion as well that is needed. It is important to have someone that it really means everything to, and it did to Monty. It is the same with Paul."

The three-time major winner feels the sacrifices McGinley has made showed his determination to win the role, and the hard work will continue in the build-up to the tournament.

Harrington said: "He has set his career out on this Ryder Cup. He has sacrificed the last couple of years of his golf. He is going to sacrifice the next 18 months of his career to be Ryder Cup captain.

"There is no doubt Paul can play but he played well last year to prove a point that he was still good enough to be part of this Ryder Cup.

"He actually sacrificed the previous years and probably the next 18 months by being so focused on the Ryder Cup.

"It is such a big thing for him. That is what he wanted, he hasn’t wanted to be a player the last couple of years, only to the extent that he wants to still be out here in the mind of the young players so that they would know him when it comes around to the Ryder Cup."

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