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Highlights on Off The Ball

Harrington: It would be odd not to pick Garcia and Poulter

Padraig Harrington says it would be "odd" if Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia weren't among his Ryde...

Harrington: It would be odd no...

Harrington: It would be odd not to pick Garcia and Poulter

Padraig Harrington says it would be "odd" if Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia weren't among his Ryder Cup captain's picks. 

The two tournament veterans are among those hoping to catch the Dubliner's eye ahead of the showdown with the USA at Whistling Straits later this month.

Rory McIlroy has been confirmed as one of five players already assured of a place on Team Europe, along with Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland.

Four more automatic qualifiers will become known after this week's BMW Championship at Wentworth.

The Race To Dubai's four leading European players get the nod, along with five others from the World Points List.

2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry is among those vying for one of Harrington's three captain's picks.

Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Tyrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick are just some of the others hoping to catch the plane to Wisconsin.

But according to Harrington, Garcia and Poulter are in "pole position" to face the US.

"They are very strong," he told Sky Sports, "These two guys have both played great this year.

"They are both Ryder Cup veterans that have delivered in the Ryder Cup time and time again.

"It would be odd to see me not pick them, but you never know what is going to happen. You can't be sure after Sunday night until we know where we sit with things.

"They are certainly in pole position."

Garcia won't be in Wentworth this week due to travel issues, with the Spaniard opting to play in last week's Tour Championship.

But Harrington hinted that Garcia has little to worry about.

"He knows where he sits with it," he said.

"He could have come here and played his way into the team and taken all doubt out of anything, but, you know, he's comfortable where he's at.

"It's a better decision for him in terms of resting up and getting ready for it if he's in the team. You know, this would have been definitely too much after the last three weeks.

"But it does put a bit of risk in there, doesn't it."

Harrington says his European team will take inspiration from Catriona Matthew's victorious Solheim Cup squad.

Leona Maguire top-scored as Europe retained the trophy in Ohio on Monday.

"I was watching it and I was thrilled the way they went about it, how they did it, the win," Harrington said, "It definitely helps us.

"You want all the momentum you can get for us as the Ryder Cup team.

"Them going out winning and the style they won, and they dominated. Let's be honest, they won fair and square.

"There was no luck involved. Sometimes you might think, oh, did they get lucky to win? It wasn't the case, and that's the sort of momentum what we would be looking to."

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Ian Poulter Justin Rose Padraig Harrington Ryder Cup Sergio Garcia Shane Lowry Tommy Fleetwood Tyrell Hatton USA United States Whistling Straits