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Ryder Cup: Darren Clarke names European vice-captains

Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie have been appointed vice-captains of the European Ryder Cup team by Darren Clarke.

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European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke has selected Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie as vice-captains for this year's event at Hazeltine National.

Harrington assumed the role under Paul McGinley in 2014 and will retain the position for the 2016 edition in Minnesota as Europe seek a fourth successive triumph.

Bjorn – a three-time Ryder Cup winner – was last a vice-captain four years ago for the 'Miracle at Medinah', while Lawrie will make his debut in the position after featuring once as a player in 1999.

Clarke was pleased to have the trio on board and revealed he would appoint a further two vice-captains before the tournament begins on September 30.

"I will have two more later on in the year," said the Northern Irishman. "There are quite a few different guys in the running for these final two places. As of now, these are my first three and I'm over the moon they have agreed.

"I think as a vice-captain having been there, you want honesty  –  you want them to tell you exactly what they're thinking. These are three fantastic players with seriously good careers. They know what they're looking for.

"Because I can't be everywhere at one time  –  it's a pretty hectic week for the captain  –  they are my eyes and ears."

Bjorn joked that his close relationship with Clarke will help him play a more effective role in the United States.

"It's going to be interesting as always. I've done it three times before, but I think this is the first time when the captain is one of my best friends and I can tell the truth, which I'm looking forward to," he said.

"It's all about the 12 players. We've got a lot of experience doing it ourselves and will try to pass that on and get them doing the best thing they can do."

The appointment was labelled an honour by Lawrie, who is excited to be involved as a vice-captain for the first time.

"[I am] very much looking forward to it – first time for me in the backroom team. Excited and honoured and looking forward to getting going," said the 47-year-old.

"All three of us have played the game for a long time. I'm looking forward to passing on anything that I can to Darren to help him make the right decisions.

"If any of us can add anything, we're looking forward to helping out in any way."

Having enjoyed being a vice-captain in Scotland two years ago, Harrington believes Clarke has put together the foundation for a strong team. 

"I really did enjoy Gleneagles – it's a different side of things being vice-captain and you do see a different side," he said.

"Talking to Darren, the amount of work he's done – he's really put the effort in behind the scenes.

"Clearly Darren is looking for honest opinions and he's probably picked some of the right guys to get honest opinions. He's going to have to make the decisions – the buck stops with Darren."

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