Ryder Cup: Harrington names Robert Karlsson as first vice captain

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Europe Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington has named Sweden’s Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for the 2020 contest

Just a few days after Europe's incredible victory at the Solheim Cup, Padraig Harrington has named his first Vice Captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup, which will be held from the 25-27 September at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Harrington named his first choice as two-time Ryder Cup player Robert Karlsson, who served as one of Thomas Bjorn's Vice Captain's when Europe triumphed at Le Golf National in 2018. 

“I have known Robert for many years and I know he will bring a wealth of experience to the team,” the Irishman said while making the announcement on Wednesday ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club.

“As a former Ryder Cup player and European Tour Number One, he commands the respect of his peers and I know I can count on him both in the build-up to Whistling Straits and during the week itself.”

Karlsson, who won 11 times on the European Tour between 1995 and 2010, has represented Europe in the Ryder Cup on two occasions: The 50-year-old made his debut during Europe's record-equalling victory at the K Club in 2006, and played again when they were defeated at Valhalla in 2008. 

In 2008, Karlsson partnered Harrington in both foursomes matches, halving their match against Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim, before losing 3&1 to Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry.

He also was part of Thomas Bjorn's backroom team in 2018 as a Vice Captain in Paris, where Europe won for the ninth time in the last 12 contests, 17½-10½.

“It’s an honour to be asked to be a vice captain by Padraig, someone I have known and respected in the game for many years,” said Karlsson.

“I’m really looking forward to playing my part for Team Europe once again over the next 12 months.

“To be involved in what transpired at Le Golf National was a dream come true and I believe the experience and continuity I can bring to the team this time around can be a big help as we aim to retain the trophy on American soil.”

The qualification campaign for The 2020 Ryder Cup begins this week at Wentworth, and will conclude in a year’s time back at Wentworth at the 2020 BMW PGA Championship.