Casey, Harrington and Lowry top European showing at US PGA Championship
European Ryder Cup Captain Pádraig Harrington showed he’s still got it at the US PGA Championship after he finished in a tie for fourth place alongside four-time Ryder Cup player Paul Casey and fellow Irishman Shane Lowry at Kiawah Island.
Consistency was key for Harrington, who won the US PGA at Oakland Hills in 2008, as he fired rounds of 71-73-73-69 to record the best finish by an incumbent European Ryder Cup Captain in a Major Championship since Bernhard Langer finished fourth at the Masters Tournament in 2004.
Despite moving up 63 places on the European Points List to 34th place on 1,115.04 points and up 52 places to 24th on the World Points List with 70.38 points, our Captain has no intentions of playing at Whistling Straits in September.
“I'm very much dedicated to being the Captain,” Harrington said. “I'm letting other people have their time. I had mine. And you can't do both. Nobody is ever going to be a Ryder Cup Captain and a player at the same time.
“It's a full-time job being the Ryder Cup Captain. There's no doubt about it, and even in my situation trying to play some golf, you know, I have to manage it very well because it has become a full-time job and when you get to the tournaments, even more so. There's a lot going on.
“I will say, that was probably my most enjoyable round of golf I've had on the golf course in a long time. It's amazing when you play with a friend, it definitely helped both of us relax and just play golf and both of us played really well. We both could have been quite a few shots better.”
That friend being fellow Irishman Lowry, who is searching for a maiden Ryder Cup bow at Whistling Straits in September.
Rounds of 73-71-73-69 saw the 2019 Open Champion join Harrington in the tie for fourth, propelling him 20 places up the European Points List into 14th with 1,864.31 points and into the top ten of the World Points List with 154.09 points.
Talking on playing with Harrington, Lowry said: “He hasn't lost it, has he. He's still the ultra-competitor.
“He chipped in on 14 and then he bombed a drive down 15. I was like, wow, if Paddy can make one or two on the way in, he has got a good chance here.
“He's 50 in August, so God help those guys on the senior Tour.”
Meanwhile, Casey solidified his place on the World Points List as he moved up four places into the second automatic spot with 227.31 points after his tied fourth finish in South Carolina thanks to rounds of 71-71-73-71.
Should Casey make the team, it’ll be the Englishman’s fifth appearance on Team Europe since his debut at the 2004 Ryder Cup.
There were also top 10 finishes for Justin Rose and Jon Rahm, who both finished in a tie for eighth with the former firing a final round 67 to climb 37 places into the top ten.
Rahm’s tied eighth finish sees the 2018 debutant remain at the top of the World Points List on 378.78 points, also regaining top spot on the European Points List with 5,185.82 points.
Meanwhile, Rose climbed two places on the European Points List and into 13th place with 2,120.95 points.
The five-time Team Europe player also moved up three places on the World Points List where 132.38 points sees Rose sit in 11th position.
As it stands Rahm (5185.82 points), Tommy Fleetwood (4,911.26 points), Tyrrell Hatton (4,860.56 points) and Rory McIlroy (3,97.19 points) fill the automatic places on the European Points List.
Viktor Hovland (241.40 points), Casey (227.31 points), Lee Westwood (226.98 points), Matthew Fitzpatrick (200.36 points), Victor Perez (187.37 points) currently occupy the World Points List spots.