Harrington remains outside of qualifying place

Padraig Harrington remains just outside an automatic Ryder Cup qualifying place despite finishing joint ninth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.

Padraig Harrington remains just outside an automatic Ryder Cup qualifying place despite finishing joint ninth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.

The 22nd place of Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez was just enough for him to hang on to the ninth spot on the points table with three weeks to go.

There were no changes to the leading nine in what proved a disappointing week for the Europeans. Swede Peter Hanson did best in eighth.

Most worrying, of course, was the withdrawal of Lee Westwood – clear leader in the standings – after two rounds because of his ruptured calf muscle.

He misses this week’s US PGA Championship, the final major of the season, and is battling to recover fitness in time for the match at Celtic Manor on October 1-3.

Four players – Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter – look safely in Colin Montgomerie’s side, but for the rest it could go to the wire.

As things stand Harrington, Justin Rose and Paul Casey look favourites for the three wild cards.

Latest leading positions in the European Ryder Cup table after the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (top four on world list qualify, then next five on European points list. Captain Colin Montgomerie adds three wild cards on August 29):

WORLD POINTS

1 LEE WESTWOOD 422.0, 2 RORY McILROY 281.9, 3 GRAEME McDOWELL 249.3, 4 LUKE DONALD 231.1, 5 Edoardo Molinari 214.4, 5 Ian Poulter 211.2, 7 Padraig Harrington 204.9, 8 Justin Rose 195.7, 9 Martin Kaymer 185.4, 10 Francesco Molinari 168.5

EUROPEAN POINTS

1 Lee Westwood 3,446,137, 2 Graeme McDowell 2,305,136, 3 IAN POULTER 2,236,968, 4 Rory McIlroy 2,036,678, 5 ROSS FISHER 1,706,709, 6 MARTIN KAYMER 1,609,405, 7 FRANCESCO MOLINARI 1,584,447, 8 MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ 1,497,870, 9 Padraig Harrington 1,484,624, 10 Ross McGowan 1,383,587

(Capitals denote players in qualifying positions)

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