Sep
29
2010
Padraig Harrington Practices With Hot Hand, Takes Teammates to the Cleaners
By Stephanie Wei under Ryder Cup

Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington still chummy after Paddy practically takes the shirt off Ian's back

Colin Montgomerie’s decision to use one of his three wildcard picks on Padraig Harrington was widely criticized. Despite being a three-time major champion, Harrington had struggled this season, especially compared to world’s No. 8 Paul Casey and Justin Rose, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year. But apparently Harrington is peaking right on time, as he and Luke Donald sent Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher looking for the nearest ATM on Tuesday at Celtic Manor.

Brian Keogh from the Irish Golf Desk reports that Harrington and Donald won nearly €450 when Harrington carded two eagles and five birdies in a practice fourball match:

Believing Harrington will justify his wildcard become a real danger man this week, Poulter groaned: “Paddy played exceptionally well this morning, which is great for the team but bad for my pocket.

“He drove it straight and long and put it in position for 18 holes today and that’s great. I’ve got nothing left thanks to Luke and Padraig. They cleaned me out, cleaned Ross and myself out.

“Paddy had two eagles today and he horseshoed out from 40 feet to make it three eagles. They made an awful lot of birdies and eagles out there. Good fun – for them.”

So perhaps Paddy can continue his good form for the real matches (but hopefully not! Kidding!). Captain Monty is holding his ground in defense of the Harrington pick. Via the Daily Mail:

I feel the criticism was very unjustified,’ said Montgomerie, after his players had their first practice on Tuesday morning.

‘I know what Padraig Harrington can do, and that’s why he was picked.

‘He’s like a rookie out there today. He’s had three eagles already. He’s playing the best golf of my team out there, and I feel the criticism early on before the Ryder Cup is very unjustified.

‘He’s a world player; he’s won three major championships, and the stature of the guy is second to none within our team.

‘There’s reasons why Padraig Harrington was picked so judge me about that selection on October 4 and not before.’

Oh, don’t worry. We’ll all be judging, including Paul Casey as he watches from his hotel room in Whistler, Canada.