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Harrington - Team comes first

Padraig Harrington's terrible recent Ryder Cup record was the centre of attention after he was controversially selected as a wild card by European captain Colin Montgomerie.

But the three-time major winner will be happy for that record to continue as long as Europe regain the trophy at Celtic Manor this weekend. Harrington is without a tournament win for more than two years and failed to win a single game at Valhalla or the K Club, collecting just one point from a possible nine.

"I would gladly have the same results as I personally had in 2006 (half a point from five games) for a winning week," Harrington said. "That's all that counts, is whether the team wins."

He added: "A person can influence his team-mates so much in the back room that it affects the result. Individual scores can be nice, but I know I won my singles match in 1999 (before Europe lost at Brookline) and was on the greatest high ever, for about two minutes. And then it was as disappointed as I'd ever been.

"I certainly realised in that moment it is all about the team. If we can get a win this week, everybody will have an effect on it, regardless of the points they get and when they do it.

"The classic is Seve (Ballesteros) in his last Ryder Cup against Tom Lehman. He drew out that match so long, he still lost, but the momentum that he gave to the rest of his team, because of the way he fought that out, was tremendous. So you can't always judge it just on pure results."

With that in mind, Harrington is also making a conscious effort to offer more help to his team-mates, particularly the six rookies, rather than waiting to be asked.

"I'm definitely trying to do as much as I can," Harrington added. "I'm trying to talk to the rookies and give them as much advice as I can and give them as much confidence as I can.

"I'm definitely much more proactive about what I'm doing maybe than I would have been in past years. I want to make sure I give as much back as I can this week, both off the golf course and on the golf course.

"I think being a leader on the golf course, that really requires your golf clubs to do the talking. That's where Monty was obviously fantastic at going head-to-head and controlling the situation."


From Belfast Telegraph