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Padraig Harrington sets sights on 2014 Ryder Cup

By Karl MacGinty

Triple Major winner Padraig Harrington insists he bears no animosity towards Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal after being snubbed for next month's Ryder Cup.

Instead, he has simply set his heart on playing for an Irish captain at the 2014 event. "It's nearly a given there'll be an Irish captain at Gleneagles in two years' time," he said. "Which one, that's the question.

"I'd be rooting for Paul (McGinley) and thinking that Darren (Clarke) will get it after that. But will they give it to two Irish guys in a row? They will definitely give it to Darren at some stage."

The Dubliner confirmed Olazabal phoned him on Sunday evening with news that his wild cards would be Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts.

"Even the dogs in the street knew I wasn't getting a pick, so it wasn't a tough phone call for me to take in any way whatsoever," insisted Harrington.

He blamed only himself for missing out on the opportunity to play in his seventh successive Ryder Cup.

"If you don't make it into the team automatically, you can't have any regrets," he said. "You can't second-guess not getting a pick if you don't make it on merit.

"It was a polite phone call from Jose. What he had to say wasn't news to me and I was quite comfortable with his two picks. It's not like he's picked somebody out of the blue. Ian and Nicolas were very obvious selections, so there are no questions or issues or anything like that.

"I think they'll do very well. I wish the team well," added Harrington, confirming he'll be glued to the action on television. "Absolutely, I'll probably sit down and watch 10 hours a day.

"It'll be strange not to be there but that's just the way it goes. I missed out in 1997 as well."

Harrington insisted last weekend at The Barclays Championship that it had not been as fraught as 2010, when the Dubliner, Luke Donald, Paul Casey and Justin Rose all awaited phone calls from Colin Montgomerie.

On that occasion Harrington and Donald got the nod, but this time, "I think we all knew from the PGA (how it was going to pan out), which made my last two weeks very easy in the sense that they weren't stressful," he said.

"With Monty, I was waiting to see if I'd get a pick but, while there was a lot of talk about it this time, it wasn't frustrating at all."

No mention was made during Olazabal's call about the recent media speculation regarding his relationship with Harrington, which was soured by a minor rules dispute at the 2003 Seve Trophy.

"That didn't figure in the conversation," confirmed the Irishman. "I think it's been tougher for him than me because he ended up having to discuss it a lot. I didn't have to discuss it half as much."

Yet he conceded that in his press conference after Thursday's first-round 64 at the Barclays, nobody even mentioned that he had just shot the course record at Bethpage Black.

"The thing was 99pc about the Ryder Cup, the Ryder Cup, the Ryder Cup," said Harrington, who drove 195 miles to Boston yesterday for this week's Deutsche Bank Championship.

Belfast Telegraph

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