Colin Montgomerie will announce his three wild-card picks for the European Ryder Cup team today, and Padraig Harrington improved his chances of being selected with a solid performance in the first two rounds of the Barclays Classic in Paramus, New Jersey. Harrington, a three-time major winner, failed to clinch an automatic berth and finds himself in stiff competition for one of the wild-card slots.
"I know that it's only three spots available. And there's plenty of good players out there," the Irishman said after shooting a three-under-par 68 on Friday at Ridgewood Country Club. Harrington, Luke Donald, Paul Casey and Justin Rose - all playing in the Barclays Classic - are among players hoping to be selected for the team that will compete against the United States in October in Wales. "I believe that Monty should make a decision based on the full year and who is going to play consistently and who we can rely on to play well," Harrington said.
"[But] in the last tournament of the year, a couple days before the team is going to be picked, it's nice to be showing a bit of form. It won't do me any harm." Harrington said he did not believe Montgomerie's decision would make "a massive difference" to the success of the team because of the quality of the candidates. The Irishman said his only regret had to do with how he arranged his playing schedule for the year.
"I set my schedule with the expectation of playing good golf and expecting to qualify. That hasn't happened," Harrington said. Nine members of the European team are determined by rankings, and the captain has three selections. The US team take eight based on rankings, and captain Corey Pavin will announce his four wild-card picks on September 7. * Agencies