Europe’s team captain for this year’s Ryder Cup, Jose Maria Olazabal, did not choose Padraig Harrington, the three time major winner, as a wildcard selection. Harrington has not played well all season. Harrington’s omission ends a streak of six consecutive appearances in the Ryder Cup. Olazabal instead chose Ian Poulter of England and Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium as the two wildcard selections.
Harrington debuted on the Ryder Cup team for the Europeans in 1999. He was not chosen even though he had a fourth place finish in the U.S. Open, a seventh at the Irish Open and a eighth place finish at the Masters.
Olazabal said on Monday that Harrington had not even played to his own lofty standards. The Spaniard told reporters he called seven players from Europe that had not qualified automatically including Harrington. He said that the call to Harrington was the hardest of all since he is such a great champion. Olazabal also said the call to Harrington was more important than the ones to the other seven.
However, Olazabal said Harrington took the news very well, at least he said it was his perception that Harrington took it well. The European captain also said he was disappointed at reporters’ suggestions at last week’s tournament that there was a feud between he and Harrington over something that took place at the Seve Trophy in 2003.
Then Harrington shoots a 64 and everyone starts talking about articles that had been written about an incident nine or 10 years ago, said Olazabal. He said it was completely untrue about the feud and all he wanted were the best players he could have on his team and he feels Harrington is a great player, he just has not been playing great this season.