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Harrington shocker for McGinley

By Peter Hutcheon

Padraig Harrington is set to pull out of the Vivendi Trophy later this month in another major blow to fellow Dubliner Paul McGinley's first foray into the realm of team captaincy.

Lee Westwood and Justin Rose have already withdrawn from the event, due to be played in Paris, and McGinley is praying old friend Harrington has a late change of heart.

“I am also still waiting to hear from Paul Casey. I'm still waiting on (Ian) Poulter and I am still waiting on (Padraig) Harrington,” said McGinley on the eve of the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Cologne.

“I'm not sure if they will play or not. Paul's still out injured and Poulter and Harrington are still involved with the FedEx Series in the States. I am holding out hope until I find out for definite whether or not they will be competing. As a captain of any team, it would be disappointing to lose your top five players, but I don't want to go there just yet.

“Let's just see if they do withdraw. As of now, the only players who have withdrawn are Lee Westwood and Justin Rose.”

Westwood, lying third on the qualifying points table for the event, known previously as the Seve Trophy, informed McGinley last week in Switzerland he wants to spend the time with his family.

Rose, who would come in for selection reckoning, has also informed McGinley he's unavailable for the September 24-27 tournament.

“It's a blow to lose players of the calibre of Lee and Justin Rose,” added McGinley. “Lee approached me last week and explained he needed a week off with the family and that's understandable.”

Meanwhile despite a tough battle, Ireland lost out 5-4 to Scotland in their opening encounter at the Ladies Home Internationals in Aberdeen.

The Irish girls led after the moring foursomes with Danielle MCVeigh and Charlene Reid winning three and two and Mary Dowling and Sarah Cunningham winning five and four.

But Royal County Down player McVeigh lost out to top Scot Carly Booth in the first of the afternoon singles matches.

There were wins for Gillian O’Leary and Royal Portrush’s Charlene Reid but Victoria Bradshaw, Aedin Murphy and Dowling all lost their matches.

In the other match holders Wales hammered England 7-2.

They won the foursomes 2-1 and singles 5-1.

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