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Has Padraig Harrington vindicated his selection in just 18 holes? – Ryder Cup

September 27, 2010

Padraig Harrington looked like a completely different man as he walked off the course in Paris yesterday compared to his mood on Friday evening.

Harrington only made the cut at the Vivendi Cup by one shot and at one point during his third round, the triple Major winner was dead last. He looked completely unable to justify his selection as a Ryder Cup wildcard ahead of Justin Rose and Paul Casey, who was busy challenging for the $10 million Tour Championship.

Dogged by outside eyes peering on, Harrington seemed to be struggling with his every move being  scrutinised and then compared to Casey and Rose. “I certainly don’t wish him to play bad golf,” Harrington told the Telegraph in regards to news that Paul Casey was leading the way in America. “It doesn’t make me any better. I have no interest in that. I’m going to the Ryder Cup next week and I’m looking forward to it. That’s all I can focus on. I can’t focus on whether Justin Rose or Paul Casey should have got picked. That’s just the way it is.”

And right he was. Padraig knew he wasn’t playing good golf; he’s not an idiot. All that the Irishman could focus on was trying to play good golf and on Sunday it all seemed to click nicely together.

A final round of 64 didn’t see him picking up the prize at the end; that was left to 23 year-old John Parry. It did prove however that European captain Colin Montgomerie can feel safe knowing that Harrington will produce the goods when it absolutely matters. Like he did when he put his 72nd hole tee shot in the Barry Burn at Carnoustie in 2007. Like he did at Royal Birkdale with a superb back nine to recapture the Claret Jug. And like he did on Friday, when he scored three birdies in the last six holes to make the cut.

Padraig Harrington is not playing the best golf of his career; not by a long way. Nor does one good round of golf mean that he is suddenly back on form but come Friday morning,  he’ll still be one of the names the American pairings will be keen to avoid.

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