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August 29, 2010

Padraig Harrington


PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, it was going to be a difficult situation. As I've said all along, if you don't qualify for the team you don't have an automatic right to be on the team. It comes down to Monte's decision. I think Edoardo Molinari did an incredible job birdieing the last three holes to force his hand and fair play to him.
You gotta think -- the picks are generally reserved not for rookies but, by God, did he deserve to get that pick. He did fantastic at the end of the day and fair play to him. But obviously that left a very awkward situation. That was 2 out of 4. And there's two good players who would have added to the team in any other year, added to the team this year.
And it's not like myself or Luke are going to make a huge difference seeing Casey and Donald or Casey and Raul, it's as close as that. On my own side, maybe it was obviously experience as the team is a young team. I won't normally play the age card, but this time it obviously suits me.
It was never going to be easy on Monte. He had a very tough decision. As I said, it is incredible, you've got two fine players. Other years, these picks have been used to pick out-of-form players who are stalwarts of the tour. The likes of Robert Karlsson would have been a shoe-in. Good player got injured last year. It's amazing how it came down this year. A lot of good players in contention and as I said always somebody was going to be left out.
You can go to the ends of the earth to try and say that one player is going to be of any benefit to the team more than another player. You know, there's pros and cons for both sides. And it can only be marginal. As I said, Edoardo forced himself in there. And between the four of us, it could only be a marginal pick over anybody else.
There was all good qualities there. And it's tough on the two boys.

Q. Is it odd or awkward to be playing with Paul after you found out?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was never going to be easy. My own head was swimming a bit out there. Strange enough, once I got the picky actually, I couldn't do much right for about five or six holes.
It was an odd occasion, all right, in that sense. You know, on one hand I'm happy for myself, but I did genuinely feel sorry for Paul. It's not a great situation to be in. Yeah, but as I said, once you're not on the team automatically, you do leave yourself up to this.
And it's not a nice place to be, I can tell you that.

Q. Is there a better system?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, the system's very good. The system's very good. Having three picks was no better than having two. That certainly turned out at the end of the day and maybe the World Rankings would go back to that. I knew the system was fair, we knew it at the start of the year. You can go -- if you want to -- you can -- you know, no matter what you say, you can qualify for that team. There's nine players on the order of merit and there's no doubt myself and Paul, Justin and Luke, we didn't play enough in Europe to make it on the team automatically.
And if I didn't get picked today, I know where I'd be blaming. And I didn't set my schedule properly. And ultimately, as I said the other day, while the Ryder Cup is a big priority of mine to play well in, I possibly didn't prioritize the qualification in the same way I assumed I would have a bumpy year, as you should when you're starting out every year, and qualify automatically.
But a lot of players play well and it wasn't easy to do that. So, yeah, ultimately, as I said, it comes down to the system is a good, solid system. And you know what you need to do, and you know you've got to be conscious and certainly I'll be more mindful in two years' time that the money is the way in.
I was looking at the World Ranking, and it's the points that are definitely the way in. And unless you play really well, you know, and win a couple tournaments you're not going to get into that World Rankings, and it was very tight.
So you've got to prioritize that point system more. And I certainly failed to do that. And it's the same for the other guys that didn't qualify automatically. We didn't play enough.

Q. You found out when your wife told you on the course?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Yes. I did want it -- if she didn't talk to me for three or four holes, I would know the other way. It was always going to be a case -- it wasn't a case of wanting to know. I didn't have an option. Somebody was going to shout it out to me. Somebody was going to tell me, so I might as well have my wife -- she was getting a text on it.

Q. (Inaudible)?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It was on the 6th. It was funny -- I've got to say it was really hard to focus out there. It was very, very hard to stick to your job. It was awkward.
But I think with Edoardo doing what he did, there could never have been a happy ending in my group, because there was me, there was Paul and obviously Christian Donald. There was only two spots left after Edoardo. No matter what somebody in our group was going to walk away unhappy.

Q. Did you say something to Paul?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I commiserated. I was in this position in '97, I missed out by 12 and a half yards and some shenanigans I knew I wasn't going to get picked. It's not a nice place to be. I can tell you that. And certainly changed my focus for the next time around.

Q. Do you expect that you'll see Tiger on the other side?

Q. Would you say that based on what he did here or how he performed?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: He's No. 1. How could you not pick him? Mind you, we didn't pick somebody -- Paul's in the top 10, right. We didn't pick somebody in the top 10, that's a great state of affairs in Europe. So there you go.

End of FastScripts

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