There may be 17 months still to go until the 2018 Ryder Cup, but prospective captains for the match in 2020 at Whistling Straits are already making their moves.
Padraig Harrington is one of those. The Irishman was a vice-captain to Darren Clarke at Hazeltine last year but ruled himself out of the top job for the upcoming match in Paris because he believes he can still make the team as a player.
However, it appears that he has his sights set on 2020 and used the week of the European Tour’s flagship event to push forward his case after previously remaining coy on the subject.
“I guess you’d think in terms of myself and Lee [Westwood] for the next one and maybe the one after that,” the three-time major winner told the Daily Mail.
“Of course we don’t have the right to share it between us but it would seem to make sense for me to do it in America, and maybe Lee when it comes back to Europe. One thing’s for sure, I’d love to do the job one day."
The only problem for Harrington with that suggestion, though, is that Westwood has already stated his burning desire to lead Europe at Whistling Straits, at which point the Englishman will be 47 and Harrington, 48.
“I think 2020 is definitely on my radar,” he told ESPN back in October. “There are a lot of candidates for it but I'll be putting my name in the ring for sure. It's something I'd like to do.
“I've played on ten and witnessed ten different forms of captaincy, so I'm pretty well qualified to be a captain I would have thought.”
Looking ahead to 2020, the likes of Ian Poulter may also enter the fray meaning competition for captaincy in the US is likely to be far more fierce than for 2018, where Thomas Bjorn was the clear favourite from the moment the 2016 match ended.