European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has described claims he has a vendetta against Padraig Harrington as "BS" – but the Dubliner is playing himself out of contention for the bi-annual battle with America.
Harrington has slipped down the leaderboard in The Barclays at Bethpage just as Olazabal denied the pair’s chequered past would influence his wildcard selections.
The Irishman had led the FedEx opener after day one on the Black Course in Fermingdale but a disastrous four over par second round of 75 has all but knocked the three time major winner out of contention.
And that will spell the end of his Ryder Cup hopes after Olazabal confirmed that Harrington needed to win this weekend to make his team ahead of Monday’s official announcement.
The Spaniard has however rejected all suggestion that a 2003 spat with Harrington will influence his thinking when he names his two wildcards.
“That is a lot of BS,” the European captain told Sky Sports at Gleneagles on Friday before Harrington finished his round in America five off the lead shared by Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia.
“If people believe this is interfering with my judgment, they are completely wrong. If that was the case, I’d be failing as a captain. So that is a lot of BS - and that’s putting it gently.
“He is as close as some other players. Not closer than other players, simple as that.
“If you look at the points list, he’s well back there, isn’t he? Sergio needed a win or a top-three last week to make the team and he (Harrington) is not different to Sergio, is he?
“He’s an experienced player, obviously, but at the moment he has not been able to deliver. Period. It’s as simple as that.”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore