Former Ryder Cup skipper Padraig Harrington makes interesting LIV Golf claim

Former Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington insists it is Team USA and not Europe who have been most affected by the emergence of LIV Golf.

Former Ryder Cup skipper Padraig Harrington makes interesting LIV Golf claim
Former Ryder Cup skipper Padraig Harrington makes interesting LIV Golf…

Padraig Harrington insists the U.S. Ryder Cup side was most affected by LIV Golf after claiming Europe are 'back on top of the world'. 

Two years ago Harrington led the European side at Whistling Straits and watched on in dismay as Steve Stricker's young team swaggered to a 19-9 victory. 

Harrington, speaking on RTE's Game On, suggested Europe were coming off a peak when he held the position of captain but now things have changed. 

"I think we're in a really good place going into this Ryder Cup," he said, adding:

"Our top players, for sure, are the best in the world. If they can get the best out of our middle and end rank of our team, I think home advantage on the course.
"I don't want to use the word favourites – I don't want to give that tag and we always want to play as underdogs – but I'm very bullish about the European team this time around.
"Clearly the U.S. team were peaking in 2021, and if anything Europe was coming off a peak. Now Europe is back on top of the world."

Europe will be without their stalwarts Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood in a few weeks' time. 

Westwood immediately questioned some of Zach Johnson's captain's picks. 

Now Luke Donald will lean heavily on the experience of Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. 

He'll also be hoping Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland and Shane Lowry fill the void left by Europe's old guard. 

Only one LIV Golf player will be involved in the 44th Ryder Cup and that is of course Brooks Koepka

There were suggestions that Bryson DeChambeau could've got the nod given his historic 58 at The Greenbrier. 

Even Talor Gooch thought he was in with a shout and Patrick Reed has demonstrated in years past he is someone who can perform in the high-pressured environment. 

Dustin Johnson went 5-0-0 at Whistling Straits but it appeared LIV 'rebels' were never truly on Johnson's radar. 

Harrington continued:

"The US are strong, but in some ways they have weakened themselves with LIV, whereas I don't think Europe has necessarily weakened themselves.
"Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, would they make it if everything was seamless in golf?"

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Harrington also offered some thoughts on the exclusion of Poland's Adrian Meronk. 

Despite three wins - one of which came at the Italian Open - Meronk didn't get the nod from Donald. 

Harrington said: 

"Adrian Meronk was sitting in the hot seat, and unfortunately for him, as good a player as he is and as well as he has played this year, over the last couple of weeks, Nicolai Hojgaard has stated his case.
"While Adrian didn't play badly, he just wasn't the best player in the last few weeks. Maybe there is more razzmatazz about Nicolai, and certainly he has played better golf the last few weeks."

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