Here come Team Europe! Padraig Harrington and Co depart Heathrow to take on USA and defend their Ryder Cup title at Whistling Straits
- The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup starts Friday at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin
- Europe are the defending champions, having defeated American back in 2018
- Padraig Harrington’s side gathered at Heathrow Airport on Monday morning
Europe team captain Padraig Harrington and his defending champions have gathered at Heathrow Airport before jetting off to the United States for this week’s Ryder Cup.
Harrington posed for pictures with the trophy alongside members of his squad such as Tommy Fleetwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Tyrell Hatton and Lee Westwood.
The four were automatic qualifiers for Harrington’s side, along with Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick and Victor Hovland.
Padraig Harrington (centre) and his European Ryder Cup side left Heathrow on Monday – pictured left to right: Shane Lowry, Bernd Wiesberger, Tommy Fleetwood, Harrington, Tyrell Hatton and Lee Westwood
Westwood poses with the trophy before jetting off to Whistling Straits with his side
Lowry, a captain’s pick, is part of the 12-man Europe side looking to defend the title
Harrington’s three captain’s picks were Ireland’s Shane Lowry – the 2019 Open champion – and Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia for the tournament which has an added layer of anticipation after it was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Europe head to Whistling Straits – previously the venue of the 2015 US Open – looking to defend their title after winning the 2018 event in France by 17.5 points to 10.5 and Harrington has cut a bullish figure as he plots the defence of the trophy.
‘There are very few things that can affect my golfing legacy,’ he told The Guardian. ‘If I win another tournament, it doesn’t make much difference. It’s even questionable whether winning another major would.
‘The Ryder Cup impacts my legacy. My ego is attached to my golf and there is no question the Ryder Cup will have an effect on that.
‘Being a losing captain could definitely have an effect on who I feel I am. That’s something that would have to be dealt with.’
Harrington leads his team against a United States side that is looking to quell fears that a feud between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau could overshadow their bid to reclaim the trophy.
Fleetwood poses alongside the trophy before jetting off for the 43rd Ryder Cup
In the US, the talk is about the row between Bryson DeChambeau (above) and Brooks Koepka
DeChambeau’s coach has insisted the feud with Koepka (above) will not derail US plans to win
US captain Steve Stricker has had to broker peace talks between the two, while Dechambeau’s coach Patrick Schy has insisted that his player has no desire to aggravate issues in the team.
‘Bryson wants it over,’ Schy told The Times. ‘Move on. The bottom line is two big egos.
‘He loves team play. At times, when he’s struggling, it can look a little selfish, but the reality is he is doing his best to contribute.’
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