European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal said on Monday triple major-winner Padraig Harrington missed a wild card to the European Ryder Cup team after failing even to “perform to his own standards” this year.
Harrington’s non-selection ends a run of six straight Ryder Cup appearances, with Olazabal choosing England’s Ian Poulter and Belgium-born rookie Nicolas Colsaerts as his two wild-card picks.
It will be the first time since Harrington made his Ryder Cup debut in 1999 at Brookline that he will not be a member of the European team, despite the Irishman this year finishing eighth in the Masters, fourth in the US Open and seventh in the Irish Open.
“The fact is Padraig didn’t even perform to his own standards,” Olazabal said.
The Spaniard said he telephoned seven Europeans who failed to automatically qualify, including Harrington, who was eventually placed 19th.
Olazabal, who will lead Europe into competition next month in Chicago, said calling Harrington was the most difficult of all his late Sunday night telephone calls.
“My telephone call to Padraig was the hardest I had to make because he is a great champion,” Olazabal said. “So I felt I needed to make that phone call more to him than to anyone else, but I have to say, to Padraig’s credit, he took it well. That’s my perception, anyway.”
Olazabol also expressed his personal disappointment at suggestions during last week’s Johnnie Walker Championship of a lingering feud with Harrington following an incident at the 2003 Seve Trophy.
“I was a little bit upset with what happened earlier in the week, and after Padraig had shot a 64 and all of a sudden: ‘Oh, my God,’ here were these articles about what happened about, what nine, 10 years ago?” he said. “I mean that is totally untrue and I want to have the best players in my team and Padraig is a great player, and he’s proven so.”
Harrington’s Ryder Cup record is 25 matches, nine wins, three halves and 13 losses. He has won just two of his past 13 matches.