Ryder Cup course primed for the 'spectacular' and 'disastrous' play – Harrington

By Sports Desk October 01, 2019

Whistling Straits will provide the perfect setting for all the thrills and spills synonymous with the Ryder Cup, according to Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington.

The Wisconsin course, which has hosted the US PGA Championship three times, is the stage for next September's edition of the biennial clash.

Harrington will be seeking to guide his side to a second consecutive title, having thrashed the United States 17.5-10.5 in Paris last year under the stewardship of Thomas Bjorn.

The Irishman and opposite number Steve Stricker faced the world's media on Tuesday during a year-to-go event at the links-style track.

"It will be a great venue for the Ryder Cup," said three-time major winner Harrington, who believes in the distant future a neutral venue will host the event.

"It's a dramatic course. The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest sporting events and probably the most exciting event in golf.

"It needs a dramatic course that lends itself to spectacular play, as well as disastrous play.

"The three PGA [Championships] I played here, what I remember most is the variability of the golf course.

"With a change of wind, moving the tee box forward or back – it can change the whole character of the hole."

On the subject of moving the competition to somewhere outside of Europe or America, Harrington added: "Clearly in Europe, we get to set the golf course up and we set it up in every way we can to suit our players, and in the States, we have seen that as well, where it is set up to be the most advantageous for the home team.

"It is not going to happen probably in my lifetime, but 40 or 50 years down the road with the Ryder Cup still going along, it would probably be best to have a neutral set-up."

For Wisconsin local Stricker, the fact no American has triumphed in any of the majors played at Whistling Straits is a cause for concern.

And the windy and rainy conditions that accompanied Tuesday's media event prompted the 52-year-old to ask Harrington if he had brought the weather with him from Ireland.

"Hopefully we have nice, sunny 75-degree days this time next year," said Stricker.

"If you look out there it has the feel of Ireland. The whole setting next to Lake Michigan, it could be overseas.

"It's a great venue. We're going to have an unbelievable crowd, with an atmosphere like [2016 host course] Hazeltine."

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