Padraig Harrington is confident that Rory McIlroy will feature for Team Europe at the 2020 Ryder Cup, despite deciding to feature more on American events this year, The 42 report.
Harrington was named as Thomas Bjorn’s successor earlier this week and is set to lead Team Europe in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in 18 months’ time at Wisconsin.
McIlroy, 30, has decided to focus more on the PGA Tour during 2019 instead of his usual European Tour events in a bid to land more major titles.
However, as a result of this, the four-time major champion may not meet the requirements to be eligible for a European Tour membership next season.
Despite this, Harrington was quick to heap praise on McIlroy speaking on The Late Late Show on Saturday when asked about the Northern Irishman potentially missing the tournament in 18 months’ time.
I’ve seen his actions. I’ve seen him at the Ryder Cup. Nothing gives back to Rory McIlroy like the Ryder Cup. He adores it. He loves the adulation he gets from the crowd, he loves the respect he gets in the team room.
He’s a leader in the team room. He’s only 30 years of age and he’s a leader in the team room. Guys look up to him and again, as individuals, we don’t get that.
And he likes teams; he’s a big fan of rugby, he would’ve loved to have been a rugby player himself, he would’ve loved to have been in the team environment and this is his one opportunity where he really gets that. His actions are very much for the Ryder Cup.
Harrington has served as a vice-captain for the last three Ryder Cup’s and it seems that the Irishman has already begun his role ahead of the tournament in America in 2020.