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Harrington ready for ‘drama’ in fight for Ryder Cup berths

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Europe’s Irish vice-captain Padraig Harrington poses ahead of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, south-west of Paris on September 25, 2018. AFP

Harrington ready for ‘drama’ in fight for Ryder Cup berths

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington admits he expects “fuss and drama” as his side is finalised at the PGA Championship this week.

Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland are mathematically certain of their places in Harrington’s team for the clash with the United States at Whistling Straits in September.

Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and veteran Lee Westwood also look set to qualify.

Shane Lowry’s hold on the final automatic place is far from secure, with at least a dozen players capable of shaking up the standings with a strong performance at Wentworth.

Harrington will name his three wild cards a few hours after the PGA Championship finishes on Sunday.

“Shane is in the hot seat, there’s a number of players who can push their way into the team and a lot of points to play for this week,” Harrington said on Tuesday.

“We wanted a bit of drama at the end and a bit of excitement, so yeah, it’s going to be an interesting week.

“There’s a lot of scenarios that we probably could sit down and go through at this stage, but we’re going to have to wait till maybe Friday evening before we start looking at that a bit more.”

Harrington says he does have his three wild cards in mind, with Ian Poulter – who has featured in five victorious teams since making his debut in 2004 – and Spain’s 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia strongly fancied to take two of them.

This despite Garcia ignoring Harrington’s wish for him to play at Wentworth.

“I think right now I would have three in mind. I think it would be easier now. I think there are players who could really cause a bit of a fuss this week, cause a bit of drama,” Harrington said.

“There’s been a great push over the last couple of weeks and it’s good that we are coming to a championship of this standard. Those guys are going to be under pressure. So anybody who plays well this week has really earned it.

“It’s the kind of drama that I was hoping for, because that’s what you need when it comes to the Ryder Cup. You have to be able to handle the stress and pressure of what’s going on.”

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