Justin Rose backs Padraig Harrington as next Ryder Cup captain
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By Keith Jackson at Walton Heath
Last Updated: 09/10/18 3:32pm
Justin Rose believes Padraig Harrington is the "front-runner" to succeed Thomas Bjorn as European Ryder Cup captain in 2020.
Harrington has declared he would be keen to take on the role when Europe defend the trophy following their handsome seven-point victory at Le Golf National, while Lee Westwood and Luke Donald are also in the frame for the next contest at Whistling Straits.
The three-time major champion has been an assistant captain in each of the last three Ryder Cups having made six appearances as a player between 1999 and 2010, and being a regular on the PGA Tour also counts in his favour.
Harrington's bid for the captaincy has also received backing from the likes of Rory McIlroy, and Rose insists he would be the ideal man to spearhead Europe's defence in Wisconsin.
"I would say that Padraig, for me, would be the front-runner," Rose told Sky Sports News before heading to Walton Heath to host the Sky Sports British Masters. "I would say as a three-time major champion, and clearly a European legend, Padraig is the front-runner, but you've also got Lee Westwood.
"It's interesting when you try to project out who the possible captains are for the next 10 Ryder Cups. But if Padraig doesn't do it this time then I'm not sure, you have got to start fitting guys in.
"But Lee is still capable of making a team next time around I believe, and so is Padraig."
McIlroy revealed last week that he would support Harrington's case to be named as captain, insisting that the Irishman's knowledge of the conditions in the United States would be a key asset.
"I've always thought Padraig would be a good captain in the United States," McIlroy said. "He's won a lot of golf tournaments over there, including a PGA Championship.
"I think the continuity in the European camp having all these vice-captains this year and preparing for captaincy down the road has been a huge foundation of why we've been so good."