Padraig Harrington presses Ryder Cup case by leading at Barclays

Padraig Harrington has played on four winning European sides in the Ryder Cup
Padraig Harrington has played on four winning European sides in the Ryder Cup


Harrington (Ire)
Watney, Harman
Garcia (Spa), Christian (Eng), Perez, Walker
Rose (Eng), McNeill, D.Johnson, Choi (Kor), Blixt (Swe), Fowler
Selected others: -3:
Woods, Mickelson, Z.Johnson, Donald (Eng), Poulter (Eng)
McIlroy (NI), Westwood (Eng)

Padraig Harrington pressed his case for a Ryder Cup wildcard by shooting a 64 to claim the early lead at the Barclays Tournament in Farmingdale.

The Irishman's seven-under-par round at the New York course gave him a one-shot lead over Americans Nick Watney and Brian Harman.

US PGA winner Rory McIlroy opened with a two-under 69, one behind Tiger Woods and world number two Luke Donald.

Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal names his two wildcards on Monday.

Harrington cannot qualify for one of the 10 automatic places in Olazabal's team but may be a contender for a wildcard, although Ian Poulter seems sure to be one of two picks for next month's match at Medinah.

But Olazabal, at Gleneagles this week for the Johnnie Walker Championship, said it would take "at least" a victory for Harrington on Sunday to put him in the frame for selection.

"I don't know where I sit. Or maybe I do," Harrington, who is searching for his first US tour title since the 2008 USPGA Championship.

"I'm not going to build myself up or I'm not going to tear myself down. At the end of the day, it's up to him."

Harrington, who turns 41 next week, is a three-time major winner and has been part of four successful Ryder Cup campaigns for Europe.

The Europeans are attempting to defend the title they won at Celtic Manor in 2010. The Medinah contest runs from 28-30 September.

England's Gary Christian was tied for fourth place at the Barclays event after producing a superb five-under-par round of 66, which would have been even better were it not for a bogey at the last.

The 31-year-old, with only one top-10 professional finish, belied his world number 245 ranking to register five birdies in his first nine holes.

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