"Obviously I'm thrilled to be named the Ryder Cup Captain for 2020", Harrington said at the press conference announcing the Captaincy on Tuesday.
"I can only look at his actions", said Harrington, who succeeds Thomas Bjorn as captain. He played in six straight Ryder Cups from 1999 and was on the winning team four times, collecting 10 1/2 points.
I've heard people comparing Harrington with Paul McGinley, but I don't think anyone will match McGinley for his unprecedented level of preparation ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2014.
Harrington said: "I know a number of players have come out and said they feel I should be the next captain".
I know they want continuity.
I have to be part of that team and ensure that I find an edge to make the team perform to the best of their abilities and hopefully get a win.
The good news is that Harrington believes some American players "aren't that happy" with the links-style course at Whistling Straits, where Martin Kaymer won the 2010 US PGA Championship.
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"He's become a leader in the team room", said Harrington. He loves the Ryder Cup.
"The first few days of the Ryder Cup there's four different arenas going on at the same time and you really need one pair eyes focused on [all of it], so the values of the vice-captain are going to be very important to him".
A year earlier, he recalled a moment during his debut at Brookline, reaching the par-three sixteenth in his singles match against Mark O'Meara when he recognised captain Mark James' discomfort at Harrington seeking his advice on what club to use. I'm putting something on the line going out there'.
Harrington did slip momentarily towards the modern Ryder Cup taste for melodrama yesterday with an observation that he'd be putting his "career on the line" in Wisconsin.
The defender, who can play at centre-back as well as right-back, moved to the Bundesliga from Lille in 2016 and soon established himself as a star man for Stuttgart, starting all 34 league games last season. "When you're thinking of taking this job, you have to wonder, "Hang on a second, I could do everything right and end up on the wrong side of this".
"Steve's a solid bloke", Harrington had said in October. When you're a player, you are exclusively concerned with your ability to perform on the biggest stage of all and trying to get your game in optimum shape. "Good guy. Tough. Not a man to underestimate".
"He is as European as they come".
Despite encountering abuse from the MA galleries for what they considered his slow play that day, abuse echoed by one TV commentator who suggested his deliberation "gave new meaning to the Boston Marathon", Harrington retained the mental resolve to beat O'Meara one up.