Harrington’s decision to stay in U.S. is backed by Des Smyth.

Des Smyth, former European vice-captain, said he fully supports Padraig Harrington’s decision to remain stateside even though the golfer has come under heavy criticism for staying.

Smyth said: "Pádraig made it very clear at the start of the season what his schedule would be so he can’t walk away from his commitments because of the Ryder Cup as organizers build their tournament around him being present.”

Critics aren’t happy that Harrington is staying put after he missed the halfway cut in last week’s USPGA Championship in order to prepare for next week’s FedEx Cup opener in New Jersey.

Some have gone as far as to say Harrington is purposely remaining in the U.S. because he has been informed by European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie that he will be chosen for the final 12 next week.

Smyth added, "How many other players can Monty choose who have won three Majors?

“Also I was the vice-captain at the K Club and Pádraig was just fantastic in the locker room. He’s a great guy and while his on-course record may not be that good, in the team room Padraig is invaluable. He’s a natural leader and an obvious future European team captain."