IRISHMAN Padraig Harrington will accompany Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal as Paul McGinley’s vice-captains for the Ryder Cup.
They join Des Smyth and Sam Torrance to complete the five-man team assisting McGinley at Gleneagles.
McGinley said: “They will all bring valuable insight and experience to the players and the team room.
“I know it’s been common in the past to have three or four Vice captains but I’ve gone for five because I feel an extra person is justified due to the additional workload which comes from being the home team, in addition to how well I saw such a system working when we ended up having five vice captains under Colin Montgomerie at Celtic Manor in 2010.”
He added: “Padraig is my oldest friend on Tour and is a guy I have known most of my life. We went to school together, came through the amateur ranks together and have been together in many contests for both Ireland and Europe over the years, so I know what he can bring to the team room.
“As well as being a three time Major Champion, Padraig is also still very active on Tour, obviously in Europe where all the players know him well, but also in the United States where he is familiar both with the Tour itself and its players.
“As far as Miguel is concerned, he is someone that the spectators love as well as being very popular with all the players. However he is also a person that I respect very much. I have sat beside him for over a decade on the Tournament Players’ Committee and have seen him exhibit an integrity on many occasions that is very admirable.
“Miguel’s appointment also maintains the continuity I was looking for when I named him captain of the European team for the inaugural EurAsia Cup match in March. He did very well in Malaysia that week and all the players in that team enjoyed working with him. It will be the same at Gleneagles.
“Finally, José María’s passion for The Ryder Cup is recognised the world over. It was obvious in his legendary partnership with Seve and was also so very apparent two years ago at Medinah, so I’m delighted he has accepted my invitation to be involved again, once more maintaining that important continuity.
“Like Miguel, he brings a wonderful Continental European flavour to the team room and is liked by everyone. He will also bring vital knowledge and experience of every element associated with The Ryder Cup, both on and off the course, which can only be helpful to the European cause.
“With these five guys in place, I have now completed both the playing and back room teams for Gleneagles. I have complete confidence and trust in all five of my vice captains and the help they will give me in the difficult quest of trying to retain The Ryder Cup.”