Yesterday Dubliner Padraig Harrington confirmed he is likely to swerve the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, which means the US PGA Championship is set to be his last chance to secure an automatic place in the Europe Ryder Cup team.
Harrington has had a solid season on tour, but with no win under his belt in 2010 he is outside of the automatic qualification places for Celtic Manor in October.
A good finish in the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits this week would secure Harrington's place in the team, otherwise he would have to rely on a pick from captain Colin Montgomerie.
With his mind very much on this week’s US PGA, Harrington is aiming to kill two birds with the one stone, to contend in the season’s final Major, and to also put himself into a position where his absence from Gleneagles is immaterial.
Harrington yesterday admitted his position remained precarious, making the point, 'nobody who doesn’t qualify automatically deserves to be in the team. If you don’t make it on merit, you are asking for a little bit of favor.'
'I want to try and make the team and qualify. That would be my goal this week. The goal, to be honest, is to get in on the world ranking points, because that ends in a week’s time. That’s the one to make it in on. The goal is to play well this week and sort it out.'
Harrington is currently seventh on the world points list, 36 points behind Luke Donald who occupies the fourth and final automatic place. He is one place outside an automatic place on the European money list.
Three-time major winner Harrington is aware that he does not have a divine right to feature at the Ryder Cup.
He said: 'I don't think anybody that doesn't qualify has a right to be picked, that's for sure. If you don't qualify, you have to ask that question; certainly, there's a number of players, good players, who are not in the qualifying and won't be in the qualifying come the end of the thing. There's not room for everybody.'
'I would like to sort it out myself, have a good run this week, and, you know, put it beyond doubt.'
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