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Paul Lawrie: ‘My Ryder Cup captaincy hopes have gone but Padraig Harrington will be phenomenal’

Paul Lawrie (left) was one of Darren Clarke’s vice-captains in 2016 along with Padraig Harrington (second left) and Thomas Bjorn (right)

Paul Lawrie believes his own prospects of leading Europe’s Ryder Cup team have “gone” but says Padraig Harrington will be a “phenomenal captain” in 2020.

The Scot, 50, played twice in the biennial event and was one of Darren Clarke’s five vice-captains in 2016.

But as he prepares to make his comeback from injury on the Seniors Tour, Lawrie holds little hope of the captaincy.

“Everyone who has ever played in the Ryder Cup wants to be the captain and I am no different,” he told BBC Scotland.

“But it would be unlikely for it to happen for me now. I have only been a vice-captain once, and I think – rightly so – you need to be a vice-captain at least twice to know what the role entails.

“It is the previous five captains that pick the next captain. So if Thomas Bjorn [the 2018 captain] and Paul McGinley [in 2014] don’t see me as a vice-captain, they are hardly going to pick me as captain.”

‘The hardest-working golfer I have met’

Lawrie, the last Scot to win a major when he secured the Open Championship in 1999, has been forced take an extended break from the game to recover from long-standing foot and back problems.

He has known Harrington, 47, “a long, long time” and “gets on well” with the Irishman, but is reluctant to push his own claims for another vice-captaincy role.

The Scot has no doubt though that Harrington “is a brilliant appointment”.

“Not only has Padraig got vast experience as a player, and had a wonderful career, he has also been vice-captain three times and that is invaluable,” he added.

“He has got experience of working with six captains as a player, and three as vice-captain, so right now there is no-one more qualified to be captain.

“He is a great lad, the hardest-working golfer I have met, next to Vijay Singh, so if it is anything to do with effort in preparation then he will be a phenomenal captain.”

I’m the right man to lead Europe at Ryder Cup – Harrington

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