SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Padraig Harrington describes Europe's new Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley as having "a little guy syndrome" – and cannot wait to see that side of his fellow Dubliner's character come out next year.
McGinley will take charge of the European team as it aims to retain the title in Scotland, and Harrington, who is making his debut in the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, is already looking forward to the occasion.
"He's a little fella and he likes to fight," Harrington said of McGinley. "He really has that little bit from his (Gaelic) football days. He's got it inside him and will lead the team well in that respect, as well as being organised."the
Harrington missed last year's Ryder Cup after a slump that took him down to 96th in the world, but he is back up to just outside the top 50 and knows the importance of continuing his climb.
"I only got a chance of making it on the world ranking points with the schedule I keep," he said. "I didn't play seven events that basically give you points for turning up and I realized in order to make it easier you have to be in those.
"It put a huge amount of pressure on my game because two or three guys are going to have exceptional years, and then you're really only playing for one or two spots."
As for the incentive of returning under McGinley, with whom he won the World Cup and played alongside in three Ryder Cups, the 41-year-old said: "I don't think it motivates me more – I'm fully motivated. I've known him for a long time and it's going to be fantastic having him as captain, but it would be fantastic to be in the Ryder Cup no matter who was captaining the team.
"Professional golf is one of the most selfish games that you can play. It's an individual sport and it's all about managing ourselves, but Paul McGinley loves teams," Harrington explained. "He's probably sacrificed the last three years of his playing career and the next 18 months for the Ryder Cup. It's been all about the team for him."
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