European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal didn’t ease off on his assessment of Padraig Harrington’s chances of making the team, but he had strong words Friday over speculation that an old conflict between the two is hurting Harrington’s chances.
Back at the 2003 Seve Trophy, Harrington questioned whether Olazabal had illegally repaired spike marks. There were hard feelings after Olazabal conceded the hole and Great Britain & Ireland won the matches.
“If that was the case, I would be failing as a captain,” Olazabal told Sky Sports after his second round at the European Tour’s Johnnie Walker Classic. “So that is a lot of B.S. That’s putting it gently.”
Harrington, who leads The Barclays after the first round and is bidding to become one of Olazabal’s two captain’s picks, can’t make the team on points. He’s totally at the mercy of Olazabal, who will make his picks on Monday, when the full roster will be set.
Olazabal was harsh in his assessment of Harrington’s chances at the PGA Championship two weeks ago. He said Thursday that Harrington needed “at least” a victory at The Barclays to have a chance. He didn’t ease up on his assessment on Friday.
“Well, he is as close as some other players, not closer than other players,” Olazabal said. “Simple as that. If you look at the list, he is well back there, isn’t he? Sergio [Garcia] needed a win or a top three last week to make the team; he is not any different to Sergio, is he?
“He is an experienced player, obviously, but at the moment he has not been able to deliver. Period. Simple as that.”