Previous captain Harrington has handed the baton over to Donald and after a chastening defeat at Whistling Straits last time, the Dubliner says that Europe “are back” with what he believes is a strong team.
“I think Europe is very strong this year,” said Harrington. “I think we’re back – I believe we’re back to the ’80s, the ’70s where our top players are actually the best players in the world.
“So I think the team is very strong. I think they’re very much in form.”
And along with some of the best players on the planet, Harrington believes Europe have the right man for the job as captain – who has a steely determination many underestimate because of his quiet outward demeanour.
“I think people underestimated Luke all his life, and he knows that, too,” added Harrington. “You don’t get to World No. 1, you don’t do what he has done in the game of golf without being hard nosed underneath.
“Just because he’s quiet, people don’t understand. He has that team right.
“I saw him as vice captain, and he was a great vice captain, very impressed, very comfortable as a vice captain, and I believe he will be a great captain, and I believe he is a great captain.
“I believe he’s doing a great job from what I hear and see, and he is, as I said, just because he’s quiet doesn’t make him – he’s not quiet in the team room. He will have those guys ready to go.”
Harrington says he’s “been talking to Luke all year” but has told him it’s his tournament now, while adding that “he didn’t need me in there as vice captain for sure”.
Harrington also feels Donald can benefit from the same players he had at Whistling Straits – which came at just the wrong time due to the Covid delay.
“That one extra year of Covid, our team went from peaking to slightly off and never could come back,” Harrington said of the last Ryder Cup.
“I said at the end of that Ryder Cup, many of these players are going to go on to play their best golf going forward, and they have.
“You look at Tommy Fleetwood’s playing, you…