Harrington welcomes Kaymer and McDowell as European Ryder Cup Vice Captains

Harrington welcomes Kaymer and McDowell as European Ryder Cup Vice Captains

23/06/2021

European Captain Pádraig Harrington has announced that Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell will join Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson as Vice Captains for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, USA, from September 24-26.

Kaymer and McDowell will bring a broad range of knowledge and experience to the three-time Major winner’s backroom staff, having both starred in pivotal Ryder Cup moments as players.

Harrington said: “I’m delighted to welcome Martin and Graeme as Vice Captains, both of whom I believe will bring experience, knowledge, and a great balance to the team room.

They have both contributed winning points in Ryder Cup history, have been there and done it, and the other players look up to them. They both have that aura and responsibility in that what they say will have meaning."

Two-time Major winner Kaymer will take on the Vice Captaincy role for the first time after four appearances as a player (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016), during which time he won an individual total of 6.5 points.

The German has been on the winning side three times, famously holing the putt that sealed one of the most famous comebacks in sport, in the “Miracle of Medinah” in 2012, and he will return to the scene of his Major breakthrough, having tamed Whistling Straits to secure the 2010 US PGA Championship.

Kaymer commented: “When Pádraig approached me, I felt very honoured immediately. It means a lot to us Europeans, especially for me as a German making the winning putt in 2012.

"The Ryder Cup means a lot. Obviously before Padraig approached me I was trying to make the team as a player and I still do want to do that, but you feel honoured and it tells you a lot about what the Captain and the whole team behind him think about you and how they value you. It was a really nice moment.
 
“I admit it took me a while to say yes, because it’s a responsibility and if I do something I want to do it properly, so we talked about the role. I’m not the type of guy who is into numbers and statistics. I’m more the person talking to the guys, more of the personal stuff, a bit more of the mental side. I feel like I’m a fairly calm person when I’m playing golf and through my experience I know what they all go through, whether that’s the guys that might be playing the Ryder Cup for the first time or guys that I have played Ryder Cups with before, so I think I understand the feelings quite well.”

CLICK HERE to view Martin Kaymer's Ryder Cup biography.

McDowell returns for a second outing as European Vice Captain, having joined Harrington as part of the backroom team that helped Captain Thomas Bjørn plot the stunning 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States at Le Golf National, France, in 2018.

The Northern Irish Major winner has also appeared in the biennial contest on four occasions (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014), with nine points from 15 matches, most notably including the winning point at The Celtic Manor Resort in 2010.

McDowell said: “Being Vice Captain of the European Team at the Ryder Cup is a great honour. If you can’t play on the team, being part of the support network and the Vice Captaincy is the next best thing, and I was very proud to do it in 2018.

"I knew Pádraig wanted me as part of the staff and it’s a huge honour. Pádraig is one of my heroes and such an iconic figure in Irish golf. To have him captaining a Ryder Cup team is fantastic for Europe.

“One of our big roles is to help Pádraig delegate responsibility. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s got a lot of information in that head. From a Vice Captain’s point of view, helping get that out of his head and communicate it to the players, to me, is one of the roles that is extremely important to us. In 2018, some of the biggest things I learned were how to handle players, how to communicate with players, which players require a lot of communication, and which players you just wind them up and let them go.”

CLICK HERE to view Graeme McDowell's Ryder Cup biography.

The 43rd Ryder Cup will be played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 24-26, where Europe will aim to retain the trophy they won in France in 2018 and secure their first win on US soil since 2012.

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