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Cup selection all but ruled out by Harrington
KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina |
KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina (Reuters) - Padraig Harrington on Friday all but ruled out any chance he had of making the Ryder Cup team as a wildcard pick, based on recent comments made by European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
Spaniard Olazabal had told reporters on the eve of the PGA Championship that Harrington needed to do "really extraordinary well" over the next three weeks to have any chance of being one of the two captain's selections.
"There you go. He's obviously got players in mind from that," Irishman Harrington said after carding a four-over-par 76 in gusting winds in Friday's second round at Kiawah Island. "I can't do anything about it.
"I missed out on the eight tournaments that guarantee you world ranking points by not playing well last year. I've played solid in every event. I couldn't be happier with my form and my game.
"I would love to have an exceptional week, but there you go - at least it's clearer in my mind now. I won't be waiting on (a pick). Obviously I have to do something very good here or next week."
Harrington has struggled in many tournaments this year, though he proved he can still compete at the highest level with a tie for eighth at the Masters and joint fourth at the U.S. Open.
The 40-year-old Dubliner has appeared in the last six Ryder Cups and been on four winning teams, including in 2010 when he was a captain's pick by Colin Montgomerie.
"He has to do really extraordinary well. He's well down the list," Olazabal, who will announce his captain's picks after the Johnnie Walker Championship finishes at Gleneagles in Scotland on August 27, said this week.
"I've played with him a couple of times during this year. From tee to green, his game has been fairly good, but I think his putting has let him down this year so far."
Spaniard Sergio Garcia currently holds the 10th and final automatic spot in the European standings but faces threats from players such as Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and Britain's Ian Poulter.
"There certainly isn't very much room for a pick for me," said Harrington. "Ian Poulter is going to get one and there's one left.
"Obviously I'm not in the reckoning as it stands, so I have to do something exceptional. At least it's clear."
Englishman Poulter, a lover of matchplay who has played in three Ryder Cups, is widely regarded as a likely captain's pick after flourishing in all three of his appearances for Europe.
"With one pick already basically gone, it leaves very little options left," said Harrington, a 14-times winner on the European Tour whose most recent victory came at the 2008 PGA Championship.
"It has to be a rookie he's thinking of picking, so there you go.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)
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