European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington insists there was no bias shown in picking Shane Lowry for his team to face the United States.
The 2019 Open champion was one of Harrington's three captain's picks, revealed on Sunday evening after the conclusion of the BMW Championship at Wentworth.
Lowry was pipped to automatic qualification by Bernd Wiesberger and Lee Westwood, relying instead on a wild card from his fellow Irishman.
Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter also got the nod, with Justin Rose the biggest-name absentee.
"Everybody says 'You're going to pick Shane, you're going to pick Shane', and if anything that pushed it away from me," Harrington revealed.
"I'm terrible like that.
Proudest day of my career so far 🇪🇺 @RyderCupEurope pic.twitter.com/3sGKzBmWTz
— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) September 12, 2021
"It actually made it harder for Shane to get in the team. I had to keep checking with the vice-captains. You know, I'm not biased here. This is right. Don't let me be distracted here because Shane is my friend."
Harrington said the influence of his vice-captains - Graeme McDowell among them - helped sway his decision.
"It was with the support of the vice-captains I was able to give him the nod and I was thrilled with that," the three-time Major-winner revealed.
"There's downsides to this job, having to tell the guys that weren't getting the picks, but having to tell Shane that he got the pick was a big thrill of mine that he is a friend of mine and knowing that it was the right thing to do, it wasn't me being unconsciously biased."
"It's incredible because he's my number one fan and he's been there through it all"
Shane Lowry on what it meant to be alongside his dad Brendan when he found out he got a captain's pick this evening pic.twitter.com/i1vGu4AvKc
— Will O'Callaghan (@willocallaghan) September 12, 2021
Lowry will be one of three European rookies, alongside Viktor Hovland and Wiesberger.
But Harrington feels the Offaly golfer has all the experience in the world to thrive at Whistling Straits.
"[I'm] thrilled with the way he handled the pressure throughout this year," the European skipper said.
"His consistency, his form has been tremendous. He really pushed on during the latter half of the season.
"I believe he's going to do a good job. He brings great passion. He fits very well into the team and it's great to have a few rookies in the team."
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