Harrington Ryder Cup hopes fade

 

ANY SLIM hopes that Padraig Harrington had of claiming a wildcard spot on José María Olazabal’s Ryder Cup team faded yesterday when the Dubliner failed to finish in the top 10 of the Barclays at Bethpage in New York State.

Harrington led the tournament after the first day with a score of seven under par but two ruinous rounds of 75 on Friday and Saturday left the three-time major winner needing a miraculous final day to push himself back into contention. Harrington shot a respectable round of three under yesterday but it is unlikely to be enough to force his way into Ryder Cup contention.

Harrington has competed for Europe in the last six Ryder Cups and despite the likelihood that he will not now feature in Medinah this September, the 40-year-old has not given up all hope.

“It will be easier to talk about it after tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t want to give an opinion on not making it or anything like that until it officially happens. I’ve played six, I’ve won four out of six, I’d dearly love to be there.”

Reflecting on his performance at the Barclays, Harrington conceded that Friday and Saturday’s poor rounds at Bethpage may have given a false impression that his form is erratic, something he insists is not the case. Harrington said: “Two 75s on the card doesn’t look very good when you’re trying to show form but I’m playing well, what more can I do? I’m happy with that anyway. I’d rather be playing badly and picked but I’m happy that I’m playing well.”

The best chance Harrington had of making the Ryder Cup team may have rested with Nicholas Colsaerts. The Belgian needed to finish in the top two at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to force his way into automatic qualification places ahead of the Martin Kaymer.

Colsaerts finished six under par for the tournament, which was only good enough to earn him a share of 19th place overall in Scotland, and which means Kaymer has qualified for the Ryder Cup in one of the 10 automatic places. Colsaerts will now be one of the favourites to be named in Olazabal’s wildcard picks. It will be a major surprise if England’s Ian Poulter is not the other pick.

Rory McIlroy has qualified automatically for the Ryder Cup but will be disappointed with his final round at The Barclays as he carded a one over par score of 72 on the final day, finishing with a bogey five on the 18th green. It left him outside the top 20 with an overall score of one under par.

American Nick Watney did his Ryder Cup hopes no harm at Bethpage last night, moving to the top of the FedExCup standings Sunday by winning the opening event in the FedExCup Playoffs.

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