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Padraig Harrington adds Shane Lowry to Europe's Ryder Cup team

European captain Padraig Harrington selected his fellow Irishman in his side to take on the US in Wisconsin on Friday week.

Old pals: Lowry (left) and Harrington.
Old pals: Lowry (left) and Harrington.
Image: Cathal Noonan

Updated Sun 8:41 PM

SHANE LOWRY HAS been named in Europe’s Ryder Cup team after Padraig Harrington included his fellow Irishman as one of his three captain’s picks.

Lowry finished just outside the automatic selection spots after losing his way during the final round of the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth today. However, he has made the team after Harrington named the Offaly man alongside Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter as one of his three wild cards. Justin Rose is the unlucky player to miss out.

Lowry becomes just the sixth Irish player to be selected for Europe’s Ryder Cup team this century, following on from Harrington, McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell.

The competition begins on Friday week in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.

“Shane is a rookie but he does not play like a rookie,” said Harrington. “He has delivered to get into the team.

“He is a Major winner. He has delivered under pressure. It was an easy pick based on his consistent form. He definitely was an easy pick for me.

“He will bring enthusiasm into the team but a lot more besides. He is in super form this season. He is a team player and we are going to enjoy the week. He is a great pick.”

Bernd Wiesberger’s tie for 20th in the BMW PGA Championship saw him secure a debut at Whistling Straits at the end of the month, knocking Lowry out of the side.

Lowry could have replaced Lee Westwood with a top-eight finish and began the day in a tie for seventh, but slipped down the leaderboard with a final round of 71.

Also included is Harrington’s old rival, Sergio Garcia.

“Sergio is a leader, he knows matchplay, he really leads a team in the Ryder Cup, who gets out there and gets the job done,” said Harrington. “I am relying on him to be a leader.

“He brings passion. He loves the Ryder Cup and everything about it. He likes the responsibility. He is a very outgoing person and he loves being a team player.

“We have an experienced team here but it is more than just experience with Sergio. I have seen what he brings in terms of his great golf play but there is more to it than that. He brings so much to a team.”

As for Poulter, Harrington said: “He is the postman. He always delivers.

“He is also a player in form – great form, probably the best form of his life.

“He has done it before in the Ryder Cup. He adds belief to a team.”

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However, Harrington admitted it was “incredibly difficult” to leave Justin Rose out of his side after naming Garcia, Poulter and Lowry as his Ryder Cup wild cards.

Westwood qualified for a record-equalling 11th appearance in the biennial contest despite a closing 77, the 48-year-old joining Wiesberger, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland in the team.

Rose eagled the 18th in a final round of 65 to finish in a tie for sixth, but that was not enough.

“It was incredibly difficult with JR,” Harrington said. “Clearly he was in contention in his last two events.

“Did I need more? Maybe not but the fact of the matter is, with who he was going up against, the consistency of Shane Lowry, what Ian and Shane have brought over the years, somebody had to lose out.

“It really is as close as that. Alex Noren as well playing fantastic golf.

“If you don’t play your way in it’s a tough place to be. It easily could have been JR or Alex Noren. It was so tight at the end of the day and we just went with the passion… the core, the heart of the team has been Ian and Sergio over the years, the consistency of Shane under pressure and under stress.

“JR did deliver this week, it was just a step too far.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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