Irish golfer Padraig Harrington believes his age and his Ryder Cup experience were behind captain Colin Montgomerie's decision to pick him as one of his three wild card selections.

Although Dubliner Harrington finished outside the automatic qualification places he will still be at Celtic Manor alongside Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari for the biennial clash with the United States.

Harrington, who has not won since his USPGA Championship win in 2008, could have been overlooked but instead he was selected ahead of Paul Casey and Justin Rose and he feels age was a factor in his favor this time.

'If you don't qualify for the team you don't have an automatic right to be on the team,' he told the press this week. 'It comes down to Monty's decision.'

'On my own side, maybe it was obviously experience as the team is a young team. I won't normally play the age card, but this time it obviously suits me.'

Harrington was playing when his wife gave the signal to confirm he had been chosen and the triple major admits it was hard to focus once he heard the news.

'It was never going to be easy. My own head was swimming a bit out there. It was an odd occasion, all right, in that sense,' he added.


Padraig Harrington