VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND – New European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington says Rory McIlroy should be judged by his actions, not his words, following his recent negative comments about the European Tour.
Former world No. 1 McIlroy has created a rift with his home circuit by threatening to quit the European Tour this year in favor of the PGA Tour, and calling the European circuit a “stepping stone” to the PGA Tour. Some have questioned his commitment to his home tour. Not Harrington.
Harrington, who will lead Europe at Whistling Straits in two years’ time, says McIlroy will be fully behind Europe’s efforts to successfully defend the trophy he helped win in France last year.
“I can only look at his actions,” said Harrington, who succeeds Thomas Bjorn as captain. “That man loves the Ryder Cup. He’s become a leader in the team room. He gives so much to the Ryder Cup; the Ryder Cup gives so much back to Rory that he can’t get anywhere else. He is a leader. He’s 30 years of age and he gets to be a leader. He gets the glory, the opportunity to be loved on the golf course. He gets the exuberance, the crowd.
“You don’t get that day-in, day-out. You don’t get that regularly. He loves the Ryder Cup. His actions are all about the Ryder Cup. He will be 100 percent behind and in that Ryder Cup team, there’s no doubt about it. You just have to know the man behind the scenes.
“I know there’s words there, but the actions nowhere near match up. He is as European as they come. Yes, he’s moved to the States. His family’s there. He wants to win the Masters and those words are coming out but his actions are not that way at all. His actions are so European.”