05 Apr 2020

Harrington: ‘I’m still preparing every day for the 2020 Ryder Cup’

With everything up in the air due to the coronavirus outbreak, nobody knows what to expect as far as the decimated sporting calendar goes this year. Golf has suffered some major casualties with The Masters, US Open and US PGA Championship being postponed and The Open cancelled. There is therefore also doubt swirling around the 2020 Ryder Cup. But Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington is still going about his business to make sure he gives himself the best chance of leading the side to glory at Whistling Straits. 

“I’m not concerned at all that the Ryder Cup this year will be postponed,” says the Ulsterman. “At the moment, I am preparing every day for the Ryder Cup going ahead in September. I’m doing everything I need to do and I’ve taken the attitude that if it’s not played, well it’s because of much bigger reasons than golf and so be it, more important things have intervened. But the only thing I can do is prepare like it’s going ahead in September and at the moment, it is. The plans are set and let’s hope it happens.”

The 48-year-old is renowned as being one of the hardest workers on Tour and has rebuilt his swing several times throughout a prestigious career that’s seen him win three Major championships amongst many other achievements. Being such a golf aficionado, you’d expect Harrington to struggle dealing with life off Tour more than others.

“I seem to be coping okay here,” he adds. “We have been on ‘lockdown’ in Ireland for coming up to a week, with ‘social distancing’ in place for two weeks before that. I haven’t been out of my house much in the last three weeks but things are pretty good. My family and I seem safe, although I am a bit worried about my mother who is a little bit older. She’s in her 80s so that’s a little bit of a concern, but in general we are coping well. We are prepared for this to go on a while longer, possibly months longer, so we’ll wait and see.

“I am very aware of how lucky I am to be surrounded by my family and kids so there are some happy moments in the day, whilst being very conscious and concerned of what difficult and trying times are going on throughout the world.”

Harrington is keeping busy practicing and posting video tutorials at home as part of the #GolfAtHome series with the R&A. He’s struggling to find the motivation to practice as hard as he does when tournaments are on whilst the Tour schedule is in the air but is working hard on his putting routine.

“I’m getting to do plenty of technical practice but, obviously, I can’t go and play. I’m always motivated to practice, I enjoy it and it keeps me occupied every day when it comes to the technical side of the game, so at the moment I’m working on my swing as always. I’m trying to change my putting routine, which can take a lot of time to break the habit.

“However, I’m not exactly motivated to do the diligent performance practice that would be needed to get ready for a tournament. I’m sure we will have at least a month’s notice to get back on the golf course and then it will be time to do the performance practice rather than the technical practice.”

All the European Tour events scheduled up until June 25 have been postponed or cancelled so the next event currently scheduled is the BMW International Open in Munich, Germany.

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