Paul Lawrie says Ryder Cup Captaincy hopes gone


Paul Lawrie says Ryder Cup Captaincy is 'unlikely' to ever happen for him now, while suggesting Harrington will be a 'phenomenal captain' for Europe in 2020

Padraig Harrington was the favourite for the job of European Ryder Cup Captain for 2020, and was officially unveiled to be taking over from Thomas Bjorn during a press conference on Tuesday.

But while the concensus is that this is the right time, and he is the right man, to Captain the side when they head to Whistling Straits, it's still a blow to one former Ryder Cup player who thinks his shot at the job is now over: Paul Lawrie. 

Lawrie was a Vice-Captain to Darren Clarke in 2016 and was a name floated around when it came to announcing the incoming European Captain, but he was never expected to get the call-up over Harrington.

The process that Europe have created over the years has seen players assume the role of Vice Captain for three years before getting 'their turn' to run the show. Lawrie has only held that position once, while Harrington served as a Vice Captain in each of the past three contests to Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley. 

Lawrie could well be named a Vice Captain by Harrington, but with plenty of other players being prepped for the job and Lee Westwood hinting he wants it in 2022, will there ever be the right time for the Scot? He missed out on a VC spot on Bjorn's side, and the 1999 Open Champion has resigned himself to the unliklihood he'll ever get the chance. 

"Everyone who has ever played in the Ryder Cup wants to be the captain and I am no different," Lawrie told BBC Scotland.

"But it would be unlikely for it to happen for me now. I have only been a vice-captain once, and I think - rightly so - you need to be a vice-captain at least twice to know what the role entails.

"It is the previous five captains that pick the next captain. So if Thomas Bjorn [the 2018 captain] and Paul McGinley [in 2014] don't see me as a vice-captain, they are hardly going to pick me as captain."

As for his thoughts on Harrington as a Captain, Lawrie was full of praise for the Irishman.

"Not only has Padraig got vast experience as a player, and had a wonderful career, he has also been vice-captain three times and that is invaluable," he added.

"He has got experience of working with six captains as a player, and three as vice-captain, so right now there is no-one more qualified to be captain.

"He is a great lad, the hardest-working golfer I have met, next to Vijay Singh, so if it is anything to do with effort in preparation then he will be a phenomenal captain."