Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf

Harrington earns Ryder Cup pick

Padraig Harrington has been named in Europe's team for the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in just over a month.

Colin Montgomerie, faced with arguably the most difficult decision any captain has had regarding wild cards, has named Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari as the three men to complete his line-up, with Paul Casey and Justin Rose the big names to miss out.

The wild cards join automatic qualifiers Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Peter Hanson.

Because the so-called FedEx Four - Harrington, Casey, Donald and Rose - chose to stay in America in the last two weeks when returning to Europe could have seen them qualify, Montgomerie was left with five players in the world top 22 chasing a pick.

He had leave one of the four out and it also left him facing calls to omit another because they put their US Tour careers ahead of the Ryder Cup.

Montgomerie asked them all to play at Gleneagles and they all turned him down, but the Scot, who was critical of Poulter for doing the same two years ago, insisted that at the end of the day his job was to pick the strongest side.

No brothers have played in the same match since Bernhard and Geoff Hunt in 1963 and Edoardo Molinari piled on the pressure with a three-birdie finish to win the Johnnie Walker Championship in dramatic fashion.

Meanwhile, Rose was lying fifth, Casey and Harrington 12th and Donald 28th with a round to go in New Jersey, but Montgomerie chose not to wait for the final result there before making his announcement.

In Harrington's favour was that he was the only three-time major winner amongst the candidates. Against him, though, was the fact that he did not win a game either in the defeat two years ago or the nine-point victory at The K Club in 2006.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph