Padraig Harrington thinks USA will have disadvantage at 2020 Ryder Cup

Padraig Harrington

In the past two Ryder Cups, course set-up has been pivotal.

At Hazeltine in 2016, the fairways were wide and the rough was minimal while, at Le Golf National in September, it was the opposite, with tight fairways and high rough.

Both set-ups played into the hands of the respective home teams, but Padraig Harrington – the likely 2020 European Ryder Cup captain – believes Team USA will be at a disadvantage on home soil next time around.

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That’s because Whistling Straits is a links style course, a far cry from traditional venues like Hazeltine, Medinah, Valhalla and Oakland Hills.

Asked ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open whether he thought the PGA of America's choice of course put Europe at an advantage, he said: “No doubt about it. Home advantage is a distinct factor at the Ryder Cup but thankfully whoever is the captain next time around is playing at Whistling Straits, which is a European style golf course. It’s as good a golf course for us to go to.

Whistling Straits

“Let's face it, if we were going to Riviera, it would be so hard for the Europeans to win on that style of golf course. It’s just US to the bone there.

“I think the players aren't that happy that it's at Whistling Straits. They know that they have a better chance of winning the Ryder Cup if they went back to a Hazeltine style golf course, rather than going to a links course in the States.

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“The players themselves are very aware that on traditional style golf courses, they have an advantage over the Europeans. While they will try obviously to set Whistling Straits up to suit them, you know, from our side, we hope they don't have as much wiggle room as they would have with the likes of Hazeltine.”

Harrington is widely expected to be named the European captain, with an announcement anticipated at some point in December. Steve Stricker is the favourite to lead the American team.

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