European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington announced the selection of Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell as two of his Vice Captains for the 2020 Ryder Cup matches at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, September 24-26.
The major winners will join Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson as Harrington’s four VCs. (The fifth Vice Captain will be a last minute deal – most likely Sergio Garcia or Ian Poulter if they fail to qualify.)
Kaymer and McDowell, who were both hoping to make the team – hence the late selections, will bring a vast range of knowledge and experience to Harrington’s war room as each is a four-time Ryder Cup member, including three times as teammates (2010, 2012, 2014).
In the 2012 edition, Kaymer, now 36, famously holed a putt that sealed one of the most iconic comebacks in Ryder Cup history in what is now known as the “Miracle of Medinah.” He will also return to the scene of his maiden major, having claimed the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
“Martin is somebody I wanted as a Vice Captain because he has a great personality and brings a calmness, a European element, and a lot of confidence with him,” said Harrington on Wednesday in Germany, ahead of the BMW International Open.
“The fact that he won around Whistling Straits also brings that level of authority and assurance that you need.
“Martin will also bring a nice emotion to the team, which is very important. He’s somebody who will help with the atmosphere, put an arm around a player or two and bring that level of authority and belief that we may need during the week.”
McDowell, 41, returns for a second time as a Vice Captain, having been part of Captain Thomas Bjorn’s braintrust which stunned the U.S. team in 2018 with a 17.5-10.5 romp at Le Golf National, France.
“I decided on Graeme as a Vice Captain a long time ago,” said Harrington.
“He was Vice Captain in 2018 with me and I liked what he brought to the team room. He’s quite an authority, confident in what he’s doing and saying and knows the scene.
“The only reason he would not have been a Vice Captain was if he was going to be a player.
“Graeme is a strong influence and the players look up to him. When he speaks, people listen, but he doesn’t speak unless he’s got something to say. I definitely saw that when he was Vice Captain previously – players pay attention and follow him.”
The European Team currently looks like this: Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Viktor Hovland, Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Victor Perez.
Harrington will then have three captain’s picks, and players in the running include Bernd Wiesberger, Guido Migliozzi, Robert MacIntyre, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia, and Ian Poulter.
Listen, Watch Paddy Harrington Discuss Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell