Harrington Reveals His ‘Test’ For Potential Ryder Cuppers.

It is not the stuff of rocket science but then Padraig Harrington reckon he’s on to a good thing in sourcing potential 2020 Ryder Cup team members.

Europe’s captain ‘asked’ to be grouped with two potential rookies for the opening round of this week’s Turkish Airlines Open – Austrian Matthias Schwab and Frenchman Victor Perez.

Schwab clearly was not intimidated being in the presence of Harrington in signing for a seven-under par 65 to share the first round lead with England’s Tom Lewis.

Schwab is lying 18th on the Race to Dubai thanks to an impressive eight top-10s this year including a T2nd at the Porsche European Open and then a T4th at both Italian Open and last week’s WGC – HSBC Champions and Schwab clearly was not intimidated being in the presence of Harrington in signing for a seven-under par 65 to share the first round lead with England’s Tom Lewis.

French-born Perez, who lives now in Dundee, Scotland with his girlfriend, brilliantly captured last month’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and shared fourth place with Schwab last Sunday in Shanghai.

He posted a Turkish Airlines opening 68.

Scotland-based Frenchman Victor Perez brilliant winner of the recent Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Photo – European Tour/Getty

“Matthias played very well, I assume he would have been under some bit of pressure too,” said Harrington.

“It was a good sign and he is certainly well able to play the game that’s for sure. There are plenty of young guys out there fighting and it’s hard for them to set themselves apart, but Victor and Matthias are certainly doing that. It’s difficult for these young guys to make a claim, it’s tough to distinguish yourself in the modern game.

“The thing is I am bound to have two or three rookies at least in the team next year so we will see how it progresses over the next year.”

Harrington was then asked if he liked putting pressure on the younger players.

“That’s not my plan at all but I find it interesting, I quite enjoy the that position to see how they react,” he said.

“I am not there to test them though, I am just there to go out and play with them and get to know them.”

“At the end of the day if these guys play their way into the team its irrelevant what I think. But if there is experience automatically in the team you are going to be picking rookies and if there are rookies in automatically then you are picking experience. They just need to play golf and let their clubs do the talking. That’s always the best way.”

Sadly Harrington’s day was spoilt when he sent three balls into the drink down the left side of the par-5 fourth hole in taking a ’10’ and eventually signing for a three-over par 75.



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