European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has named Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for the 2020 contest at Whistling Straits.

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Karlsson represented Europe twice in Ryder Cups as a player, featuring in the record-breaking win at the K Club in 2006 before returning to play in the defeat at Valhalla two years later.

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The Swede also worked alongside Harrington as part of Thomas Bjorn’s backroom team for the 2018 contest, where Europe ran out convincing 16.5-11.5 winners at Le Golf National.

“Anybody involved in 2018 would have seen this as a no-brainer pick,” Harrington said. “He’s very logical, very straight, he doesn’t let the emotions get involved. He’s a brilliant vice-captain.

Team Europe returned to winning ways at Le Golf National Team Europe returned to winning ways at Le Golf National Team Europe returned to winning ways at Le Golf National

“We’ve played Ryder Cup matches together but ultimately he provides a great sounding board for myself. There will be other vice-captains, but you have to wait for other guys who could make the team. I need a vice-captain now. He’s an icon for the northern Europeans and I need access to those guys.”

Karlsson registered three points for Europe from his seven matches and was only beaten in two of them, forming an unbeaten partnership with Paul Casey during the 2006 contest and thrashing Justin Leonard in the singles in 2008.

Karlsson's most recent victory came in 2010 in Dubai Karlsson's most recent victory came in 2010 in Dubai Karlsson’s most recent victory came in 2010 in Dubai

The 50-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the European team, having recorded 11 European Tour victories from over 600 appearances and also previously won the European Tour’s Order of Merit.

“It’s fantastic,” Karlsson said. “Padraig asked me a little while ago and I am really looking forward to this process and being part of a team again and helping Padraig along the way.”