‘I Haven’t Done Enough’ - Padraig Harrington Downplays Ryder Cup Chances

The 2021 Team Europe captain had been tipped for a playing return, but he has downplayed his chances

Padraig Harrington takes a shot during the first round of the 2023 Open at Royal Liverpool
Padraig Harrington doesn't think he's done enough to make the European Ryder Cup team
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Team Europe Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has all but written off suggestions he could appear in this year’s match as a player.

Last month, Sky Sports commentator and Golf Monthly columnist Wayne Riley suggested the 52-year-old could make a sensational Ryder Cup return as a player for the biennial match at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club following some excellent form including a T27 at the US Open. 

Talking to Mirror Sport, though, the 2021 captain downplayed his chances of being selected as one of Luke Donald’s six captain’s picks.

He admitted: "Unfortunately I think I haven’t done enough. As I’m playing such a limited schedule on the regular tour, I needed to do more in the Scottish [Open] and The Open, those in particular. I needed to push forward, but I just think I haven’t played enough events to give myself a better [chance], I know there are a couple of events to go but even then."

Harrington made the cut in both events, finishing T42 at the Genesis Scottish Open before a tie for 64th in the The Open at Royal Liverpool. However, he revealed that he wasn’t one of the players at a dinner hosted by Donald in Scotland for Ryder Cup hopefuls, which signalled he needed to perform even better in those events to force his way into the reckoning.

He continued: “I have talked to Luke about it [being selected], we have talked about it. But I think he had about 18 of his players at a dinner in Scotland and I was not there so I was always outside that fringe, so I needed to push on in Scotland and The Open.”

Despite the likelihood of being overlooked by Donald, Harrington who lost in a dramatic playoff to Alex Cejka in last week’s Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl, is still happy with his form. He explained: "Golfers are dreamers, well they should be dreamers anyway! I am always dreaming.I get up and practice and every time I go to the range it is an opportunity to look forward and hope.

Padraig Harrington during the 2021 Ryder Cup

Padraig Harrington captained the 2021 European Ryder Cup team

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“There is always a possibility of doing something. I am delighted I am playing well. I felt physically I was playing well the last couple of years, sometimes not so hot mentally but the Champions Tour has really helped me in that department… you have to create your own reality and believe it.”

Six players will qualify automatically for Donald’s team. The Englishman will make his six captain’s picks after qualification ends following the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, which concludes on 3 September. The Ryder Cup begins later that month, on 29 September.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.