Padraig Harrington Reflects on 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline

Padraig Harrington was a Ryder Cup rookie at the 1999 Cup at The Country Club at Brookline.

Harrington is the captain of the 2021 European Ryder Cup Team set to play the Americans at Whistling Straits. 

“Obviously Brookline, I was a rookie. As a rookie, you just keep your head down and do your thing. It would have been a very exciting week — it was a great week for me personally, just so exciting. I’d only just got into the team by finishing second and second the two previous events,” said Harrington during his Honda Classic press conference on Wednesday. 

Padraig Harrington PHOTO: Twitter

In 99, Harrington, along with other rookies, barely played in the tournament until Sunday singles. A decision by Captain Mark James that proved costly. 

“Do you learn anything? I think Mark James tried something that week and he really did take one for the team because it will never be done again not playing the rookies before the singles. But he went all out to get as many points as he could going into those singles, and clearly in hindsight I don’t think any captain will ever do it again. But somebody had to try it. So pretty straightforward,” he added. 

The U.S. of course made an epic comeback in Sunday Singles, with Justin Leonard delivering an exclamation point with a long putt in his match against Jose Maria Olazabal. 

The U.S. won that Ryder Cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2. They won Sunday Singles 8 1/2 to 3 1/2. 

The Americans have only won twice since then (2008, 2016), and had a massive choke of their own in 2012 at Medinah. 

Professional golf returns to The Country Club in Brookline in 2022 for the U.S. Open. 

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