If there was a way for Padraig Harrington to finish in a place better than first this week at The Barclays, then the three-time major might have a chance to make the European Ryder Cup team.
That’s the gauntlet captain Jose Maria Olazabal laid down for Harrington after he shot 7-under 64 to take the lead after the first round of the FedEx Cup playoff opener at New York’s Bethpage Black.
Olazabal said Harrington must “at least win” to garner a nod with one of the Spaniard’s two captain’s picks, made Sunday after the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Olazabal is in the Scottish field.
The two-time Masters winner has a past issue with Harrington, dating back nine years to the Seve Trophy matches.
In their final-day singles match, Harrington asked Olazabal to not repair a mark on the green until it could be verified it was not a spike mark, which cannot be fixed. Olazabal disregarded Harrington’s request and fixed the mark anyhow. Harrington called in a rules official, but Olazabal conceded the hole before he could be penalized for any improper improvement on the green.
Harrington cannot make the team on points, as none are offered for The Barclays so as to entice European players to consider teeing it up at Gleneagles for one last chance to impress the Ryder Cup captain.