Jose Maria Olazabal dismisses grudge claims, but Padraig Harrington has it all to do for Ryder place


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jose Maria Olazabal insists that if he omits Padraig Harrington from his Ryder Cup team it will have nothing to do with their argument in Spain nine years ago.

Olazabal fell out with Harrington at the 2003 Seve Trophy, feeling his integrity had been questioned over the repairing of marks on a green before he putted. Now Olazabal is Europe's captain and Harrington, Ireland's winner of three majors, is trying to impress his former team-mate.

"If people believe that is interfering with my judgement then first of all they are completely wrong – if that was the case I'd be failing as a captain," Olazabal said yesterday at Gleneagles, where he will name his two wild cards on Monday. "That is a lot of BS [b*******]. I am looking at players, what they have done and I want to get the best players for that team, whoever they might be."

Even when Harrington opened the first of the FedEx Cup play-off events with a pacesetting 64 on Thursday Olazabal raised eyebrows by saying the Dubliner needed "at least a win" on his eve of his decision.

Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is thought to be favourite for the second captain's pick, the first appearing certain to be earmarked for Ian Poulter. But Colsaerts can still force his way into an automatic spot with a top two finish at the Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland, which finishes tomorrow.