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Harrington's Ryder Cup ambition

Last updated: 30th January 2013

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Harrington: Teeing off in the States

Harrington: Teeing off in the States

Padraig Harrington, who makes his US debut at the Phoenix Open on Thursday, is targeting a return to the Ryder Cup team in 2014.

Harrington missed last year's Ryder Cup after a slump that took him down to 96th in the world, but he is back on the fringes of the top 50 and is hopeful of improving further in the coming season.

Paul McGinley is set to lead Europe's men at Gleneagles as they seek to retain the Cup, and Harrington is confident he's the right man for the job.

"He's a little fella and he likes to fight," he said of McGinley.

"He really has that little bit from his (Gaelic) football days. He's got it inside him and will lead the team well in that respect, as well as being organised."

Not that McGinley's presence is the main incentive for Harrington's desire to return to the Ryder Cup fold - the thrill of being part of the competition is motivation enough.

"I don't think it motivates me more - I'm fully motivated," said Harrington.

"I've known him for a long time and it's going to be fantastic having him as captain, but it would be fantastic to be in the Ryder Cup no matter who was captaining the team.

"Professional golf is one of the most selfish games that you can play. It's an individual sport and it's all about managing ourselves, but Paul McGinley loves teams.

"He's probably sacrificed the last three years of his playing career and the next 18 months for the Ryder Cup. It's been all about the team for him."

Harrington is looking forward to the atmosphere in Arizona this week, said to be one of the most boisterous crowds in golf, particularly at the par-three 16th where fans congregate over the weekend.

"I hear they're putting green on for the Irish fellas. Had they told me before I would have turned up earlier!

"I'm thinking about pulling a shirt over my head and running down to the green if I hole out."

Harrington plays the first two rounds with Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan, while back-in-action Phil Mickelson partners Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler.



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