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Monty happy with Harrington form and sure he can lord it at the Manor

However much relief Pádraig Harrington is feeling at keeping his Ryder Cup place -- thanks to captain and former partner Colin Montgomerie -- he knows the tough bit is still to come.

Now the three-time major champion, who has not won any of his last nine games against the Americans or any of his last 55 tournaments stretching back more than two years, has to try to justify his wild card.

Luke Donald's cup pedigree always made it likely he was going to return after missing the last match through injury, while Edoardo Molinari's remarkable last 18 months proved impossible to resist.

But Montgomerie has put his faith in Dubliner Harrington, 39 tomorrow, to turn back the clock and strut his stuff like he used to.

Being preferred to Paul Casey and Justin Rose puts as much pressure on Harrington as there was on Ian Poulter last time. Poulter's response, of course, was to be the leading scorer at Valhalla, even in a losing cause, with four points out of five. Can Harrington, whose last cup win was his 2004 singles against Jay Haas, do the same?

"Pádraig Harrington has won three major championships in the last three years, has stature and is someone we feel that nobody in match play golf wants to play," said Montgomerie.

A few hours later the Dubliner dropped from 12th to 47th with a last round 75 in the first of the FedEx Cup play-offs. "I'm not concerned about his form at all," said Montgomerie, admittedly before the last round was completed in New Jersey. "I think when Pádraig's back is up against the wall he comes out and produces fantastic performances. And I'm expecting that at Celtic Manor."


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