Padraig Harrington names Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain

Europe Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington names Swede Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for next year’s event in the United States

  • Robert Karlsson was a vice-captain under Thomas Bjorn last year in Paris
  • The Swede appeared as a player in the Ryder Cup in 2006 and 2008 
  • BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week is the first qualifying event 
  • The 2020 Ryder Cup takes place next September at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin 

Europe captain Padraig Harrington has named Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Karlsson performed the same role under Thomas Bjorn when Europe regained the trophy at Le Golf National in Paris last year.

The 50-year-old made two appearances in the biennial event as a player, helping Europe to a record-equalling win at The K Club in 2006 and playing in the defeat at Valhalla two years later.

Robert Karlsson was announced as a vice-captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup today at Wentworth

The press conference also saw captain Padraig Harrington answer questions from the media 

2018 – Le Golf National, Paris: EUROPE 

2016 – Hazeltine, Minnesota: USA 

2014 – Gleneagles, Scotland: EUROPE 

2012 – Medinah, Iliinois: USA

2010 – Celtic Manor, Wales: EUROPE  

Harrington said: ‘Anybody involved in 2018 would have seen this as a no-brainer pick. He’s very logical, very straight, he doesn’t let the emotions get involved. He’s a brilliant vice-captain.

‘We’ve played Ryder Cup matches together but ultimately he provides a great sounding board for myself.

‘There will be other vice-captains but you have to wait for other guys who could make the team. I need a vice-captain now. He’s an icon for the northern Europeans and I need access to those guys.’

Karlsson added: ‘It’s fantastic. Padraig asked me a little while ago and I am really looking forward to this process and being part of a team again and helping Padraig along the way.’

Thomas Bjorn (lower, middle) with his 2018 Ryder Cup vice-captains ahead of last year’s event

This week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth is the first qualifying event for the team and Harrington said: ‘There’s no doubt that the points actually starting it really is feeling different, a different buzz.

‘I swore to myself at the start of this not to get too involved in the points early on but I’m keen to see who is leading on Sunday already.

‘We’re already starting to get our statisticians to give us lists of potential players and I can already tell you the chance of players making the team. It’s fascinating.’

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