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Padraig Harrington faces battle to make Ryder cup

By Karl MacGinty

Having missed the Accenture Match Play for the first time in his career, Padraig Harrington must sit out the second World Golf Championship of 2012 - next week's Cadillac Championship in Doral.

Qualification closes on Sunday but even if he wins this week's Honda Classic, the 52 ranking points on offer would lift the Dubliner no higher than 51st in the world at best, one outside the cut-off for Doral.

However, this might ease a little pressure on 2005 Honda winner Harrington to break his 40-month duck in Europe or the US.

Since the qualification process for the 2012 Ryder Cup began last autumn, Harrington has been ineligible for three WGCs (the HSBC in Shanghai, Tucson and Doral) plus several other points-rich, limited-field events at the end of last year.

Unlike Ernie Els, who this week continues his bid to get back into the elite top 50 to clinch his place at April's US Masters, Harrington at least is exempt for all four Majors this year after his feats in 2007 and '08.

Currently 40th on the European Points List and 38th in the World Points category, Harrington must win a Major or two bigger events on Tour this season to force himself back into the Ryder Cup reckoning.

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