The first five automatic European qualifiers for Whistling Straits have been confirmed as Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
Although there will be four more automatic qualifiers and three captain’s picks, with the qualification window closing after the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, which runs from September 9-12.
However, the qualification spots go to the four players leading the Race to Dubai Points List for the European Tour, and the five other players are based on the World Points List standings.
Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Shane Lowry, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose are all in contention, with Garcia and Poulter seemingly set to make the team as captain’s picks.
“They are very strong,” Harrington told Sky Sports. “These two guys have both played great this year. They are both Ryder Cup veterans that have delivered in the Ryder Cup time and time again. It would be odd to see me not pick them, but you never know what is going to happen. You can’t be sure after Sunday night until we know where we sit with things. They are certainly in pole position.”
Meanwhile, Garcia’s position looked in doubt after he took part in the Tour Championship at East Lake last weekend and decided not to play at Wentworth due to travel demands.
“He knows where he sits with it,” said Harrington. “He could have come here and played his way into the team and taken all doubt out of anything, but, you know, he’s comfortable where he’s at. It’s a better decision for him in terms of resting up and getting ready for it if he’s in the team. You know, this would have been definitely too much after the last three weeks. But it does put a bit of risk in there, doesn’t it.”