Harrington gets G-Mac backing

Harrington gets G-Mac backing

Graeme McDowell believes Padraig Harrington has the qualities needed to become Europe's next Ryder Cup captain.

Europe, led by Northern Irishman Darren Clarke, suffered a thumping 17-11 loss to the USA at Hazeltine last weekend as the hosts triumphed for the first time since 2008.

However, there were some positives to take out of the defeat, with debutants Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Thomas Pieters both impressing for Europe.

The latter won four points for his side to become the first rookie on either team to win at least four matches at a single Ryder Cup since Larry Nelson, who won five at the Greenbrier in 1979.

Attention will soon focus on who will lead Europe at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France and McDowell, who will be hoping to get back into the squad for the event, believes Harrington is the stand-out candidate.

He told Sky Sports News HQ: "You've got to be looking at [Padraig] Harrington, [Thomas] Bjorn, [Paul] Lawrie - who has thrown his hat into the ring and has been given the resounding recommendation of Sam Torrance - and probably [Miguel Angel] Jimenez.

"Harrington certainly has the right playing credentials. It would be the third Irishman in a row, so if you guys are sick of having Irish captains you might want to have a year off!”

Harrington would become the third Irishman to captain Europe in a row following Paul McGinley at Gleneagles in 2014 and, most recently, Clarke.