First Vice-Captain Picked for Ryder Cup
The 2020 Ryder Cup is still over a year away but the captains are beginning to look at their teams and backroom staff for the tournament. The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest events in golf, with Europe taking on the United States over three days of adrenaline fuelled action.
The Ryder Cup is known for its tremendous atmosphere and it is a completely different event to the majors we see played annually. Players are teamed together in pairs before embarking on one round of singles matches to complete the tournament.
Not only are the players competing for themselves they are playing for their colleagues and fans, which makes a huge difference. The 2020 Ryder Cup will be played between the 25th and 27th September at Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin, United States.
Europe are the defending champions having won the 2018 Ryder Cup on home soil at Le Golf National in France. They have won four of the last five and seven of the last nine Ryder Cup events, which shows just how dominant the European team have become in recent times. However, the two wins for United States have both come on home soil and having lost 17.5 to 10.5 in 2018, the United States team will be determined to put on a show.
In preparation for the Ryder Cup, the nominated team captains must pick vice-captains and for Europe, that duty falls on the shoulders of Padraig Harrington. The Irishman hopes to follow in the footsteps of Bernhard Lager, Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal in winning the Ryder Cup in the United States.
Harrington has moved quickly to select his first vice-captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup and has opted for Robert Karlsson.
Karlsson participated in two Ryder Cup tournaments as a player, winning in 2006 but losing in 2008. However, the Swede was part of Thomas Bjorn’s successful backroom team at Le Golf National in 2018 and that’s clearly the major reason behind the pick.
Having made the announcement, Harrington said, “Anybody involved in 2018 would have seen this as a no-brainer pick,” before continuing, “He's very logical, very straight, he doesn't let the emotions get involved.”
Karlsson, who still plays on the European Tour, will be 51 years of age by the time the 2020 Ryder Cup begins and has a wealth of experience. He has 11 professional wins on the European Tour and picked up a point for the European team at the 2006 Ryder Cup, drawing both his four-ball matches with Paul Casey.
There is no doubt Karlsson knows that it takes to win the Ryder Cup. It is a very sensible appointment from Harrington who is looking to build a strong team ahead of the tournament in 2020.