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Rory McIlroy is at his best when critics are bashing him and that augurs well for our Ryder Cup hopes, says captain Padraig Harrington

Ryder Cup captain backs McIlroy to deliver strong reply to his doubters

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Pals act: Rory McIlroy and his Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington

Pals act: Rory McIlroy and his Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington

Shane Lowry: Open winner has made Ryder |Cup his main focus for 2021

Shane Lowry: Open winner has made Ryder |Cup his main focus for 2021

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Pals act: Rory McIlroy and his Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington

On Christmas Day there will be nine months to go before Pádraig Harrington's troops go into battle at Whistling Straits, and he attempts to become just the fifth man to lead Europe to Ryder Cup victory on US soil.

It's a daunting task given the American dominance of the World Rankings where they have 12 of the top-20 compared to just six Europeans.

Only Italian Francesco Molinari has managed to win five points out of five for Europe in a Ryder Cup, but Harrington knows that he has many aces up his sleeve and one of them is Rory McIlroy, who matched Christy O'Connor Snr as Irish golf's all-time top-scorer when he took his Ryder Cup tally to 13 points in that 17½-10½ win over the USA in Paris two years ago and will be expected to lead from the front in Wisconsin.


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