VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell, players who have holed decisive putts for Europe at Ryder Cups, were appointed Wednesday as vice captains for the team for the 2021 edition at Whistling Straits in September.
They joined Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson as assistants to captain Padraig Harrington as Europe looks to retain the biggest prize in team golf.
Kaymer, who secured the point that completed the comeback now often referred to as the “Miracle at Medinah” in 2012, will take on the role for the first time after four appearances as a player.
“Obviously before Padraig approached me, I was trying to make the team as a player and I still do want to do that,” said the 36-year-old German, who is ranked No. 99, “but you feel honored and it tells you a lot about what the captain and the whole team behind him think about you and how they value you.”
Harrington said Kaymer was “somebody who will help with the atmosphere, put an arm around a player or two and bring that level of authority and belief that we may need during the week.”
McDowell, who claimed the winning point at Celtic Manor in 2010, was also a vice captain under Thomas Bjorn for Europe’s victory at Le Golf National outside Paris in 2018.
“In 2018, some of the biggest things I learned were how to handle players, how to communicate with players, which players require a lot of communication, and which players you just wind them up and let them go,” McDowell said.
Harrington said McDowell “is a strong influence and the players look up to him.”
“When he speaks, people listen, but he doesn’t speak unless he’s got something to say,” Harrington added. “I definitely saw that when he was vice-captain previously – players pay attention and follow him.”