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After six Ryder Cup appearances as a player and three successive stints as vice-captain, Padraig Harrington is rightly considered to be the front-runner for the 2020 European captaincy at Whistling Straits.

Speaking ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open, the three-time major champion revealed his desire to lead the European team but said it was by no means a done deal, with two other players having reportedly thrown their hats into the ring.

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In outlining what one of the keys is to a successful Ryder Cup team, the Irishman pointed to chemistry within partnerships and referred to one that just didn’t work out at all: Luke Donald at the 2010 Ryder Cup.

In the opening session of the match at Celtic Manor, Harrington and Donald teamed-up together but lost 3&2 to the team of Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton. Colin Montgomerie didn’t pair them together again for the rest of the match.

Padraig Harrington1

“It’s amazing how as an individual when you’re playing against guys, you never see it, but when you’re involved in the team, you start seeing bits of people’s personalities that you had no idea about,” he said.

“I know in Wales, myself and Luke Donald made an awful partnership. We were just terrible together. There was no captain. The two of us were too even and nobody was leading.

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“Then I played with Ross Fisher it was great. He thought I knew everything. It was just point and go. It was phenomenal. Ross played unbelievable golf, because he obviously felt comfortable and assured that all he had to do was play golf.

“It’s amazing how you can get more out of a partnership, and that’s what Europe has relied on over the years is building good partnerships – but sometimes those partnerships don’t last from Ryder Cup to Ryder Cup. They can burn out.”

Padraig Harrington2

Harrington pointed to his own partnership with Paul McGinley as a perfect example of that.

“Myself and Paul McGinley played very well in the World Cup and it started out Paul was very much the captain and he would tell me when we were playing practise rounds and do things.

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“Then obviously I started becoming a better player and at a stage we had to stop playing together because we were loggerheads with each other because we had different styles.

“Bu it’s strange, playing together now, we’ve come through that and we would be much more relaxed and much more capable of playing with each other as a partnership again now.”

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