Paddy’s positive inking! Captain Harrington vows to emulate Thomas Bjorn and get a tattoo if Team Europe win the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits… but won’t reveal on which body part!
- Former captain Thomas Bjorn got score of 2018 Ryder Cup tattooed
- Harrington happy to emulate his predecessor if Team Europe win the trophy
- ‘It’s a given now in Europe. Captain has to get a tattoo,’ said the Irishman
- Team Europe have won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups but face tough test
- Harrington says Team Europe won’t be fazed by partisan crowd in Wisconsin
Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington has vowed to emulate Thomas Bjorn and get a tattoo should his team retain the Ryder Cup this weekend.
In his role as captain, Bjorn oversaw a 17.5 to 10.5 win over Team USA in Paris three years ago and got the score and the Ryder Cup logo inked on his backside.
Harrington confirmed he was ready to follow Bjorn’s footsteps, should Team Europe win the contest, which begins at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin on Friday.
‘I am delighted that that’s all they ask for, I’d have given up a lot more for a win,’ the 50-year-old Irishman said on Wednesday.
Padraig Harrington has vowed to emulate his predecessor if Team Europe wins the Ryder Cup
‘So yes, I will be getting a tattoo. If my team produce a winning week, I will be getting a tattoo to mark the occasion, and I’m very comfortable that they only asked that much of me because I would have given more.
‘I think it’s an unwritten rule, so it has come up in conversation.
‘Maybe they [the players] didn’t ask. Maybe I offered and they felt that was enough.
‘But definitely, it’s a given now in Europe. Captain has to get a tattoo. I don’t have any other tattoos, so it would be a new experience for me. Where on the body? I don’t know.’
Thomas Bjorn captained Team Europe to a 17.5 – 10.5 triumph in Paris three years ago
The Dane lived up to his promise and got the score from the 2018 Ryder Cup inked
If Harrington is to get a tattoo, his players will have to produce a major upset at Whistling Straits this weekend.
Team USA are the bookmakers’ favourites and boast a group of players with higher pedigree in terms of both major victories and world rankings than their European counterparts.
Led by Steve Stricker, who played in three Ryder Cups and served as vice-captain three years ago, the hosts’ 12-man team includes eight of the top-10 ranked players in the world.
World No 1 Jon Rahm is the only European on the list, with world No 15 Rory McIlroy the next highest-ranked Team Europe player.
Team Europe returns seven of the 12 players who triumphed in Paris in 2018
World No 1 Jon Rahm is the only European ranked in the top 10 players in the game
In terms of winning pedigree, Team USA include six major winners to Team Europe’s four, for a total of 13 major titles to seven.
Team Europe, however, has won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups and seven of the players that triumphed in Paris in 2018 return, while Team USA includes six Ryder Cup debutants.
Postponed by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 edition of the Ryder Cup will be distinctly different to its predecessor because of the almost complete absence of visiting fans due to the stringent travel rules in place.
Team Europe has won eight of the last 11 Ryder Cups but lost the last contest in the US in 2016
Harrington said he believes his players won’t be fazed by playing in front of a partisan crowd
Up to 40,000 American fans are expected daily at Whistling Straits, but Harrington suggested playing in front of a partisan crowd would crank up the pressure on Team USA and Stricker.
‘As I’ve said all along, Europe would rather play in front of 40,000 Americans than zero fans. But maybe when we got here it has changed a little bit,’ he said.
‘You can see that there’s expectation and pressure from the fans going the other way. They have a new strategy.
‘There’s no doubt, the home captain has to deal with pressure and stress. But it’s not like we don’t have to deal with it, too.
‘There’s a little bit added, no doubt about it. I suppose we just have to wait and see.’