Monday 24 October 2016

'Shane would have been picked in June' - Padraig Harrington on Lowry's Ryder Cup omission

Published 30/08/2016 | 20:44

Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry. Photo: Getty
Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry. Photo: Getty

A combination of timing and poor form has cost Shane Lowry his place on the European Ryder Cup team, that's according to Darren Clarke's vice-captain Padraig Harrington.

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For his wild card choices, Clarke went for experience with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer and exciting Danish golfer Thomas Pieters was his third and final pick.

It meant huge disappointment for the likes of Lowry and world number 20 Russell Knox of Scotland.

Speaking on Off The Ball on Newstalk, Harrington admitted that it was Lowry's form, the fact that he is splitting his time between the US and European Tour and not his ability that led to his omission.

'I would be out on Tour with Shane quite a bit and we would discuss it. Shane is comfortably good enough to be playing in the Ryder Cup," he said.

"He's made a choice to go to the States which means he get caught between two stools - he's not on one tour and he's playing new golf courses in the States.

"He has shown brilliant form but the consistency hasn't been there.

"His game, just like Thomas Pieters, and this was one of the things that came against Russell Knox... Hazeltine is a big golf course and Pieters is a big hitter of the ball, Shane is a great driver of the ball. It was ever so close.

"If it was Shane that turned up in Denmark and if it was him who was winning the tournament and not Thomas Pieters, he would have forced his way into the team at the end of it.

"If the team was picked in June after the US Open, of course Shane would have been picked.

"Him not playing full time in Europe made it difficult to qualify automatically."

Harrington has earmarked Pieters as the one to watch when Europe and the US lock horns in Hazeltine on September 30 in Minnesota.

"You've got to say Thomas Pieters forced his way into the team. He's potentially a world No 1 player. This is a big star for the future," he added.

"The rest of the team are clamouring to partner up in foursomes and four-ball. Put it like that. Everybody wants to play with Thomas Pieters. This is a guy who's going to win points for other guys."

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