Ian Poulter believes Padraig Harrington’s recent Ryder Cup resurgence is vital for European skipper Colin Montgomerie.
Following his second place finish in the 3 Irish Open, Harrington is less than €55,000 outside the nine automatic qualifying places for Montgomerie’s side.
And Poulter reckons Harrington is vital to Europe’s chances of winning back the trophy at Celtic Manor despite his poor record of just two half points from his last two matches.
Poulter said: “Padraig’s experience of playing in the Ryder Cup is huge. He’s a gutsy character but then if you looked at his record in the last two Ryder Cup’s he would be the first to admit he hasn’t played all that well.
“But aside from that I don’t think there is any player in the American side who would want to play against him because you know you are going to be in for one tough golf match.
“He’s a grinder and he will grind out a score and he will wear you down.
“So a Padraig Harrington in the right frame of mind, and a player who is back to playing good golf, is a great player to have on a European Ryder Cup team.”
Harrington can seal his place in Montgomerie’s side at this week’s $8.5m WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
A victory worth $1.4m would see him leap from 10th to third in the rankings and end his two-year wait for a win.
Poulter said: “It’s good timing for the Ryder Cup side and it’s good timing for Padraig himself as two-years without a win is a very long time to wait considering his last three wins were Majors.
“He had such an amazing 18-month spell but then to see him get back in contention again is great to see.”
US Open champion Graeme McDowell suggested during the Open at St Andrews that Harrington needed to start showing some form to make sure of his place on the side.
But he’s delighted that Harrington now looks certain to make it, explaining: “There is no way he will not be in the side now.
“He had a good week in the Irish Open and these are the two weeks when he generally plays well. He is a guy you want on your team.”