Padraig Harrington perfect man to be next Ryder Cup captain – Stephen Gallacher

Stephen Gallacher opened with a one-under 70
Stephen Gallacher opened with a one-under 70
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Lothians star Stephen Gallacher has added his voice to a chorus of calls for Padraig Harrington to become Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain.

Speaking after opening with a one-under 70 in the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek on his 44th birthday, Gallacher joined the likes of Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood in saying he believed the Irishman should be named as Thomas Bjorn’s succcessor for the 2020 match at Whistling Straits.

Padraig Harrington is favourite to lead Europe at Whistling Straits in 2020

Padraig Harrington is favourite to lead Europe at Whistling Straits in 2020

“Padraig would be my pick. In fact, I think it’s a no-brainer,” said Gallacher, who played on a winning team at Gleneagles in 2014. “He’s been a vice captain three times, played in six and won three majors. He fancies it as well.

“I think when he did his first vice captaincy he wasn’t sure about becoming captain, but I think he’s now up for it.

“He is a very individual guy but he’s brilliant in a team environment. He’s like a different man.”

Harrington, a strong favourite for the post, said earlier this week that he believed two other names were in the mix, one of them believed to be Swede Robert Karlsson.

“I don’t think there is any doubt about him being the captain,” added Gallacher of Harrington. “He will disagree if he feels that way. He’s got a strong mindset and I think you need that in a captain. You have to have your own model for it.”

On a day when Irishman Paul Dunne set the pace with a 64, Gallacher was pleased with his start after being laid low on Wednesday due to a bout of dizziness.

“I’m still not right, but I wasn’t dizzy today,” he reported after recovering well from finding water with his opening shot of the day in the $7 million Rolex Series event.