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Pádraig Harrington says, ‘The ship has sailed’ when it comes to chasing Ryder Cup spot

Pádraig Harrington believes those players seeking Ryder Cup slots must play certain events like Wentworth.© Getty Images

Brian KeoghIndependent.ie

Pádraig Harrington admits a seventh Ryder Cup appearance is not on his agenda this season, but he doesn’t rule it out if he can win another Major or a PGA Tour event.

The Dubliner (51) impressed by finishing fourth in a world-class field at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship three weeks ago.

But the losing 2021 skipper admits another Ryder Cup appearance is not something he’s actively chasing.

“I think that ship has sailed,” Harrington confessed after finishing tied 25th in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship on Sunday.

“For me to play Ryder Cup, to make the team, it would be very obvious. It is not something I have to worry about. I would basically have to go out and win a Major or something like that. I won’t be scraping into the team.

“If I make the team, it would be obvious. You don’t make it by playing on the Champions Tour, but if I did something obvious like I played well on the PGA Tour, won some events, something like that.”

As US Senior Open champion, Harrington will play in June’s US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club as well as May’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill and July’s Open Championship at Hoylake as a past winner of those two Majors.

He will play several PGA Tour and DP World Tour events this season as he plans to follow an appearance in next week’s Chubb Classic on the PGA Tour Champions in Florida with back-to-back PGA Tour appearances at the Honda Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

“If it’s your priority to play Ryder Cup, then you’d have played Wentworth last year,” Harrington said.

“You would have played Italy last year, you would have played Italy this year, and if you don’t play those events, it is only something else, some of the big stars won’t be playing (them), but if making the Ryder Cup was your only goal then you would be playing Italy last year.

“Robert MacIntyre winning in Italy last year, it is hard to see him not getting a pick based on that. The same again this year. Whoever wins this year, if they are in contention, will get a pick.

“Wentworth, the same thing. You have got to play these. For most guys, you have got to chase it if you want to make it. I am not chasing it.If it happens, it would happen because I have done something else rather than chase the Ryder Cup.”

All eyes this week are on the $20 million WM Phoenix Open, where Shane Lowry is playing the first of five events in a row since parting company with his caddie Brian ‘Bo’ Martin after the Dubai Desert Classic.

Lowry’s management company did not respond to requests for confirmation on who might be carrying the bag for the big Offaly man at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course.

A stellar field has been assembled with world No 1 Rory McIlroy returning to action after his Dubai Desert Classic victory alongside Lowry, Séamus Power and another 35 of the world’s top 50.

The DP World Tour moves on to Laguna National for the Singapore Classic, where Tom McKibbin and Gary Hurley are in the field and John Murphy is the second reserve.

The Challenge Tour remains in South Africa for the Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt Golf Estate, where Ruaidhri McGee joins Conor Purcell as he bids to back up his tie for seventh in last week’s Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open.

After Abraham Ancer’s win in the PIF Saudi International, the Asian Tour moves from Saudi Arabia for the International Series at Al Mouj Golf in Oman, where major winners Brooks Koepka, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell are just some of the LIV Golf players teeing it up.

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