Harrington: "USA should play the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine every year"

Padraig Harrington fires some early shots at the US Ryder Cup team ahead of 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 31 Oct 2018

Hotly tipped to captain the 2020 European Ryder Cup side, Padraig Harrington has fired some early shots at the United States by claiming they should just choose to play the biennial event at Hazeltine every year.


The United States defeated the Europeans 17-11 at Hazeltine in 2016, but then suffered a similar beating of their own when Europe won 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National in France at the end of September. 

Hazeltine was set up for a birdie fest two years ago, something the US side knew would favour them as they statistically make more red numbers than the Europeans. It was also wide open off the tee and suited their big hitters, unlike the case at Le Golf National.

Whistling Straits, however, is reportedly being set up for more of a links test in 2020 where distance will not be much of a benefit - something Harrington feels will play into the hands of the European team as they go in search of a eighth win in the last 10 renewals. 

Whistling Straits will host the 2020 Ryder Cup in Wisconsin, USA 
Harrington is a red-hot favourite to become 2020 European Ryder Cup captain 

"Thankfully whoever is the captain next time around is playing at Whistling Straits, which is a European style golf course," said Harrington, who is a red-hot favourite to take the European reigns at the Wisconsin layout.

"Let's face it, if we were going to Riviera [Country Club], that would be so hard for the Europeans to win on that style of golf course, just US to the bone there. 

USA won the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in 2016, but they have only won two of the last six Ryder Cups (both on home turf)

"There's so many golf courses that they could go to in the States. They should just turn up in Hazeltine every year, their cup of tea and gives such an advantage.

"Hazeltine, the US just knew. A stats guy came in and said, look, we make more birdies than them so if we make this into a birdie fest, we should win.

"We knew going into France, make par be very precious, and Europe will have an advantage, and it proved that way."

The United States have won two of the last six Ryder Cups at Valhalla (2008) and Hazeltine (2016), but they have failed to win a Ryder Cup on European soil since 1993 at The Belfry.

Harrington, 47, also claims that unless a "neutral party" takes control of the golf course in question, then the Ryder Cup could very well keep exchanging hands every two years. 

"I don't think it's going it happen very soon but I do think eventually [it will happen] if it keeps going, we win in Europe, they win in the States."

As for his chances of becoming 2020 European Ryder Cup captain, Harrington remained coy and feels there are at least two other men in contention. 

"My name’s in the hat and there are other names in the hat and nobody is sure when they are going to announce it," he said.

"I’ve certainly heard two other names. I’m not even going to suggest who they are just because maybe one of them doesn’t want to be known."

Rumours suggest Harrington is the favourite, with Robert Karlsson and Paul Lawrie also in the running.