Harrington's Chinese route to Ryder Cup qualification

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The Independent Online

Padraig Harrington will continue his unconventional route to Ryder Cup qualification this week on a course boasting a mini Mount Fuji and replica Great Wall of China as the European Tour heads into pastures new.

The revived BMW Asian Open at the Tomson Golf Club in Shanghai is the first European Tour-sanctioned event on mainland China.Along with Australia's Greg Norman and South Korea's K J Choi, Harrington is the leading drawcard. Ranked eighth in the world, the Irishman has reportedly pocketed £282,000 for competing here - plus Ryder Cup points.

Harrington is yet to play a Tour event on European soil, yet he leads on qualification points and lies fifth on the Order or Merit.

"That's the nature of the European Tour early in the season, with the co-sanctioned events at the start of the year," Harrington said. "It's nice to be in a good position in the Ryder Cup points order of merit. I have got off to a good start and look forward to playing golf every week, no matter where it is."

Choi is a two-time winner on the USPGA tour and recently finished third at the Masters.