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Lots to play for at Barclays Classic

Besides the $1 million top prize in this week's Barclays Classic and next week's U.S. Open looming at nearby Winged Foot, players are also thinking about qualifying for this year's Ryder Cup.

Defending Barclays champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland is eager for a chance to repeat here, but acknowledged on Wednesday he is also feeling the pressure of qualifying for the Ryder Cup, to be held at Ireland's K Club from Sept. 22-24.

"There's more added pressure without a doubt," Dubliner Harrington said about trying to make a Ryder Cup team that will play on his home soil.

"The fact that it's in Ireland (means) there's more pressure. But really we probably generate that pressure anyway."

"There's a number of good players in contention, and that's a good thing for the European team because there's half a dozen players who aren't qualified who are playing decent golf and with a chance. So nobody can take for granted anything is going to happen."

If a player fails to earn his way onto the team through points or ranking, he could still be added as a captain's pick. Harrington, however, does not want his participation to come down to choice by European Ryder captain Ian Woosnam.

"My concern would be playing my way onto the team," he said. "Don't put any doubt in the way."

Sweden's Carl Pettersson, coming to the Barclays fresh from his victory last week in The Memorial, was not a member of the European Tour last year so his victory in the U.S. Tour's Chrysler Championship and a second-place finish do not count toward his Ryder Cup points.

"They've got their rules. You can't do anything about it." he told reporters. "I would love to play in the Ryder Cup. My goal is to win tournaments and if you do that, the Ryder Cup will take care of itself."

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman said he was concerned American players might put extra pressure on themselves.

"My message to everybody is set your goals high and go after them. But you can definitely try too hard," he said.

"Once you've been there a few times you know what it's all about and you know what you'd be missing if you weren't there. Especially this one in Ireland will be something extra special."

 

 




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