Padraig Harrington has warned potential members of the European Ryder Cup team there’ll be”no excuses” for playing in the BMW PGA Championship next year.
Qualifying for the group starts this week and ends at Wentworth following September, shortly before Harrington takes his side into Whistling Straits to defend the Ryder Cup contrary to the Team USA of Steve Stricker.
Harrington is delighted to observe a stellar field teeing it up in the West Course this week, headlined by Rory McIlroy, and he’s intent on watching more of the same a year from now when positions on his group for Wisconsin are likely to still be decided.
“This is a massive part of why it’s starting this week and it’s ending at the BMW PGA Championship,” said Harrington, shortly after hammering Robert Karlsson as his primary assistant captain. “Here is the flagship event in Europe and also the players develop and take it.
“This is our biggest European event, it’s the one which that you want to be there. This season you are certain to find a discipline, which is not only important, but it’s going to be important come this time a year ago that we possess the players playing with the event.
“If you can find places still to be determined, each player will be going up against other good players that week and you also will not be any excuses. You can’t sort of turn around and say,’well, I don’t want to come to this event; it is not large enough’.
“This will cause no excuses next year, as everybody will be here who would like to get on the group. And it is a golf course that is fine today, it truly is now. They have generated the improvements and everybody loves it and it is a true good golf program and it’ll produce fine play, which is precisely the kind of golf course we’ll be testing the players on.”
Harrington also emphasized the significance of getting rookies on the group, together with the likes of Matt Wallace and Open winner Shane Lowry one of those likely to make their Ryder Cup debuts in Wisconsin.
“We want rookies,” Harrington added. “How do you get the buzz and atmosphere on the team? You need guys there just thrilled to be there and excited, and the older men get the capability to assist and handle a participant. That’s the beauty of this Ryder Cup, to have rookies on the staff.
“Clearly you would not want to go in there with 12 rookies and if two rookies qualify, I will be picking three experienced guys. So we will not be going in using 12 rookies, but you desire a great mix because the rookies have made it for Europe through the years.
“Those are the men that come out and they glow. I am hoping to get a great balance on the group, and everything I get, the nine guys who qualify will deserve to be there, and it is my job to pick three guys to rip them out, after which it’s myself, Robert and the other vice-captains’ jobs to get the maximum from them when we’re there throughout the week.”
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