GLENEAGLES, Scotland – European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has piled the pressure on Padraig Harrington, declaring the three-time major winner has to "at least win" The Barclays event in the United States to be considered for one of his two wild-card selections.
Seeking to make his seventh straight European team, Harrington took the clubhouse lead Thursday in the first round of The Barclays by shooting a 7-under 64 at Bethpage Black. He birdied seven birdies of his last eight holes in the FedEx Cup opener.
The Irishman has to rely on a captain's pick because he is out of the running for one of the 10 automatic spots on the team for the matches next month at Medinah in Illinois.
Olazabal had said during a news conference ahead of the PGA Championship earlier this month that Harrington had to produce an "extraordinary" effort to be considered.
Olazabal was asked Thursday after his opening round in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, the final qualifying event before he announces his picks Monday, to define "extraordinary." He replied bluntly: "At least win."