• Ryder Cup

Olazabal: Personal feelings won't affect Harrington call

ESPN staff
August 24, 2012

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has angrily denied suggestions that an old feud with Padraig Harrington could influence his wildcard selections.

Harrington, a three-time major champion, is one of a number of players on both sides of the Atlantic bidding to impress Olazabal this week and earn one of the Spaniard's two picks for the 12-man team for Medinah.

But the Irishman has a fraught history with Olazabal - the pair fell out spectacularly at the 2003 Seve Trophy - and that has led some to suggest Harrington will be overlooked for reasons other than his current form when Olazabal makes his choices on Monday.

Olazabal has insisted that is not the case, however - and resents the accusation.

"If people believe that [an emnity with Harrington] is interfering with my judgement, well, first of all they're completely wrong, and if it was the case I would be failing as a captain," Olazabal said. "So that is a load of BS, just to put it gently."

Harrington, to his credit, said on Thursday that he believed Olazabal would put any personal feelings to one side and pick whoever he perceived to be the best players for the team. Olazabal reiterated on Friday that Harrington is one of a number of players he is considering, but far from the favourite.

"Well he's as close as some other players, not closer than other players - simple as that," Olazabal added. "If you look at the list he's well back there isn't he.

"Sergio [Garcia] needed a win or to make the top three last week to make the team, he [Harrington] is not any different to Sergio is he? So I don't know what it's all about.

"He's an experienced player obviously, but at the moment he's not been able to deliver, period. Simple as that."

Only Nicolas Colsaerts can still qualify automatically for the team, with a win or second placed finish at this week's Johnnie Walker Championship good enough to dump Martin Kaymer from the 10 automatic qualifiers.

Harrington is one of a number of players - along with Miguel Angel Jimenez, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Fredrik Jacobson, just to name a few - vying for a wildcard pick, with Ian Poulter widely expected to be one of Olazabal's selections, after Garcia dumped him from the automatic spots with a win at the Wyndham Championship last week.

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