Harrington knows he needs something extraordinary

Associated Press Published: August 10, 2012

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Padraig Harrington is resigned to missing his first Ryder Cup since 1997 until he follows the words of European captain Jose Maria Olazabal and does something extraordinary. That would mean winning, and he's running out of time.

Harrington had a 76 on Friday in the PGA Championship and was six shots out of the lead. His last chance would be The Barclays, the opening FedEx Cup playoff event in two weeks at Bethpage Black.

Olazabal's comments earlier in the week at least put Harrington at ease.

"He's obviously got players in mind from that," the Irishman said. "I can't do anything about it, honestly. I would love to have an exceptional week, but there you go. At least it's clearer in my mind now. Obviously, I have to do something very good here or next week."

Indications point to Olazabal using one of his captain's picks on Ian Poulter. Europe takes 10 players after the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, which ends the day after The Barclays.

"There certainly isn't very much room for a pick for me," Harrington said. "You're looking at obviously, Ian Poulter is going to get one. And there's one left. Obviously, I'm not in the reckoning as it stands. So I have to do something exceptional. At least it's clear."

Harrington was hurt by not being eligible for three World Golf Championships this year, or the Tour Championship last year, which offer easy ranking points. He believes he is playing well, and points to a for fourth in the U.S. Open two months ago.

What constitutes extraordinary? Next to a win, someone threw out the notion of a 59.

"Well, now you've put it in the wind," Harrington said with a laugh. "Look, hey, it's the way it is. I'm happy to be playing well."


WAITING GAME: Hunter Mahan, a two-time winner this year on the PGA Tour, would have figured to be a lock for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Now, he has to wait three weeks to see if Davis Love III will take him as one of four captain's picks.

Ditto for Rickie Fowler, who was No. 12, and Brandt Snedeker right behind him at No. 13.

All of them missed the cut at the PGA Championship, and it wasn't pretty. Mahan, bumped out of the top eight in the standings last week when Keegan Bradley won the Bridgestone Invitational, had an 80. It was his highest score of the year. Fowler also had an 80, the third time in the last 15 rounds he shot in the 80s.

Love will announce his picks after the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second FedEx Cup playoff event.

"The main goal now is to try to make the team," Fowler said. "And I'm not doing a good job of it right now. I've put up some less than stellar scores."

Love hosted a dinner Thursday night for the top 20 players that most of them attended. It was not a time to lobby for a pick, rather for the captain to encourage players to not put too much stress on themselves to make the team.

"You're not going to say anything to blow his mind," Mahan said.

Mahan is No. 4 on the PGA Tour money list and No. 5 in the FedEx Cup standings. It's still not enough to be one of the eight who earn spots on the team.

"It seems kind of crazy to be out of the top eight," he said.

Fowler two years ago became the first PGA Tour rookie to be a captain's pick. Even more surprising is that he had never won. This year, he earned his first PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow in one of the stronger events. And he still failed to qualify.

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