European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has named Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell as vice-captains for this year’s contest against the USA.

The duo join Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson in Harrington’s backroom staff at Whistling Straits.

The German and Northern Irishman have both made four Ryder Cup appearances.

“If you can’t play on the team, being part of the support network and the vice captaincy is the next best thing,” said McDowell, 41.

The Northern Irishman clinched Europe’s winning point at Celtic Manor in 2010 – the same year he won the US Open – while Kaymer famously holed the continent’s winning putt two years later to complete a remarkable comeback at Medinah.

Kaymer, 36, won the 2010 US PGA Championship and 2014 US Open and says he still has ambitions of clinching a place in this year’s team as a player.

“Obviously before Padraig approached me I was trying to make the team as a player and I still do want to do that, but you feel honoured and it tells you a lot about what the captain and the whole team behind him think about you and how they value you,” said the German.

McDowell served as one of Thomas Bjorn’s vice-captains in Europe’s victory in Paris in 2018.

European skipper Harrington said Kaymer and McDowell would bring “experience, knowledge and a great balance to the team room”.

“They have both contributed winning points in Ryder Cup history, have been there and done it, and the other players look up to them. They both have that aura and responsibility in that what they say will have meaning.,” added Harrington.

The 43rd Ryder Cup will be played at the Wisconsin venue from 24-26 September with Europe aiming to clinch their first victory on US soil since their memorable 2012 triumph at Medinah.