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Harrington names Karlsson first vice-captain for Ryder Cup

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By Reuters
Harrington names Karlsson first vice-captain for Ryder Cup
Golf - Ryder Cup - 2020 Ryder Cup Press Conference - Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain - September 18, 2019 The 2020 Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington during a press conference Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs   -   Copyright  PAUL CHILDS(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Europe captain Padraig Harrington has named Sweden’s Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup, which will be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Harrington made the announcement on Wednesday ahead of the BMWPGA Championship at Ryder Cup Europe’s headquarters at Wentworth Golf Club.

“I have known Robert for many years and I know he will bring a wealth of experience to the team,” the Irishman said.

“As a former Ryder Cup player and European Tour Number One, he commands the respect of his peers and I know I can count on him both in the build-up to Whistling Straits and during the week itself.”

Karlsson, 50, has represented Europe twice at the biennial team competition against the United States, making his debut in 2006 at the age of 37 and helping Europe to a nine-point victory at The K Club in Ireland.

The Swede returned to Team Europe in 2008, partnering Harrington in both foursomes sessions at the Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky, when the U.S. emerged with a convincing victory.

“It’s an honour to be asked to be a vice captain by Padraig, someone I have known and respected in the game for many years,” said Karlsson, who also served as vice captain under Thomas Bjorn when Europe crushed the U.S. in Paris last year.

“I’m really looking forward to playing my part for Team Europe once again over the next 12 months.

“To be involved in what transpired at Le Golf National was a dream come true and I believe the experience and continuity I can bring to the team this time around can be a big help as we aim to retain the trophy on American soil.”

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)