Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Harrington wants Ryder Cup chance

Padraig Harrington

Padraig Harrington admitted he would be "gutted absolutely" and "devastated" if he was not part of Europe's team at the Ryder Cup in October.

With only five weeks left in the points race the three-time major champion admits he is in a "very perilous" position down at 17th place. Yet things are so tight that if Harrington wins this week's 3 Irish Open at Killarney - and he considers his form good enough to do it - he could move all the way up to sixth.

Nine players qualify automatically at the end of next month and then captain Colin Montgomerie adds three wild cards.

Newly-appointed vice-captain Darren Clarke states that he cannot envisage Harrington missing out, but competition is fiercer than ever before.

An amazing five players in the world's current top 25 - Paul Casey (9), Edoardo Molinari (17), Justin Rose (18), Harrington (19) and Henrik Stenson (23) - are in need of a wild card as things stand.

Rose has won twice in the States recently, Casey and Stenson were joint third at The Open and Molinari lifted the Scottish Open three weeks ago - and won the World Cup with his brother Francesco, seventh in the standings, last November.

Harrington's last victory was the US PGA two years ago, but he was at great pains, with Clarke listening, to point out that in the past 12 months he has had no fewer than 14 top 10 finishes.

"I was asked the other day if I got selected would I actually pull out," he said. "The inference was 'would you pull out because you're not playing well?'. I've had more top 10s in the last year than I've ever had in my career, so going on a guideline that most people use I've actually had the best year of my career.

"I haven't won and that's certainly below my expectations and everybody else's expectations, but my form has actually been solid enough.

"I just have to wait and let it happen. I do try to be very disciplined in doing my own thing and not being influenced by outside factors - but clearly that one got to me."

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