PÃ¡draig Harrington claimed his first major victory as Ryder Cup captain yesterday by launching a charming offensive to win home fans by paring the team in the Green Bay Packers colors and throwing them foam hats ” cheesehead âin the crowd.
his seemingly insignificant move was one planned almost two years in advance, and it’s a sign that the Dubliner has left little room to chance for what is already an impressive campaign.
No curves have come so far, but he had to admit he was pleasantly surprised by how some of his team reacted to the environment, citing rookie Viktor Hovland for his praise.
The Norwegian is one of the stars of this European squad, and while it would be tempting to hope you have an angry Viking by your side, Harrington is delighted that the Oslo man has turned out to be the life. and the soul of the party.
“It’s hard to believe he could beat him, but he was brilliant,” Harrington said when asked if any of his troops exceeded his expectations. âBernd (Wiesberger) is very relaxed, and obviously Shane is right about his expectations. They are the rookies of the team. The other guys, I knew what to expect. They have been wonderful.
Hovland is expected to play in all five sessions, and Harrington is delighted that such a player has proven to be a bubbling presence.
âIt’s just great to be around,â he said. âHe’s the center of a lot of jokes and fun, and yes he’s excellent, I have to say it. We kind of knew that about Viktor, but Tyrell was that guy in 2018, and you kind of see the personality on the golf course, but his personality in the locker room is completely different.
The Ryder Cups are won and lost on the chemistry of the team room and while wearing the hometown colors and throwing foam cheeseheads into the crowd might seem like a trivial move, it’s straight out of the box. Bernhard Langer’s playbook from Detroit in 2004
âLook, the crowds are awesome,â Harrington said of the battle for crowd empathy ahead of a game where the United States will have 98% support and 100% pressure to deliver. residence.
âThe Wisconsin fans are very grateful so we want to show our appreciation in return,â Harrington said. “It’s good. We think the colors are nice. We think the outfit looks really good, and I think the players are quite happy that they are doing something to show their respect for the local state. in which we are.
There’s a lot of talk about the potentially hostile American crowd, but Europe knows it’s a double-edged sword for Steve Stricker.
âIt’s an interesting question, there’s no question about it,â Harrington said. âThe bulk of our attention to come is the fact that it will be 90/10, 80/20 [in fan support]. As I have always said, Europe prefers to play in front of 40,000 Americans rather than zero fans. But maybe when we got here it changed a bit. You can see that there are expectations and pressure from the fans going the other way.
âThey have a new strategy. So there is no doubt the local captain has to deal with the pressure and stress. But it’s not like we don’t have to take care of it too. There is a little addition, there is no doubt about it. I guess we just have to wait and see.
As for the decidedly Irish weather – cool and windy yesterday – Harrington insisted Europe did not need weather help.
“Yeah, maybe there’s a little edge for us if it goes like that, but like I’ve always said, we really probably have our best hitting team so we’re not going. being hiding from players or something like that, we don’t rely on the conditions to give us the advantage.