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Padraig Harrington has long been conscious of what the reaction would be if he picked Shane Lowry, his good friend and fellow Irishman, to play for Europe at the Ryder Cup. “It’s always been the elephant in the room — everybody says, ‘You’re going to pick Shane, you’re going to pick Shane,’ ” the European team captain said. “If anything, that pushed it away from me.” Harrington still made that call. Becoming the third rookie in a team otherwise filled with lots of experience, Lowry completed Europe’s lineup for its defense of the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from Sept. 24-26 by receiving one of Harrington’s three captain’s picks, along with veterans Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter. Making it all the harder was Justin Rose, another reliable Ryder Cup stalwart, closing the BMW PGA Championship — the final qualifying event — with a 65 at Wentworth to finish in a tie for sixth on Sunday and ahead of Lowry. Aside from Rose, Harrington felt Swedish player Alex Noren would be a good fit for the team, and for Whistling Straits. Yet Lowry got the nod. Even though he won the British Open in 2019 in memorable scenes at Royal Portrush, Lowry described his Ryder Cup selection as the “proudest day” of his career. “Playing all year, really all I wanted to do was make the Ryder Cup team,” Lowry said. “That’s all that’s mattered to me all year.” The other rookies in the team will be Bernd Wiesberger and Viktor Hovland, compared with the six that will play for the Americans. That contributes to the huge imbalance between the teams in terms of experience, with Europe having 38 past Ryder Cup appearances compared with 12 for the US team.

Horschel channels his anger into win

Billy Horschel felt aggrieved this week at the manner in which he missed out on a place in the US team for the Ryder Cup. So he took down a bunch of leading Europeans by himself. Horschel birdied Wentworth’s storied 18th hole after an approach shot that spun back to inside 2 feet, securing a closing 7-under-par 65 and a one-shot victory at the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday in Virginia Water, England. He became only the second American to win what is traditionally regarded as the biggest event on the European Tour, after Arnold Palmer won in 1975. Not a bad way to get over the disappointment of being overlooked for a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup team. And Horschel had a message for US captain Steve Stricker: “I was a little gutted I didn’t get a call this week. I didn’t think the call was going to say I made the team but I was a little gutted I didn’t get a call to say, ‘Hey, you know, you didn’t make the team.’ In my mind, I thought I would at least get that, so there was a little more added motivation after that.” Horschel’s birdie on No. 18 took him above Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) and Jamie Donaldson (66) to 19-under 269, and left only one player with a chance of beating him. Laurie Canter, a 170th-ranked Englishman playing in the final group, needed an eagle on the par-5 last hole to win or a birdie to force a playoff, but had to lay up after driving into the rough. His third shot settled within about 15 feet and his birdie putt never had a chance, missing to the right. Canter signed for a 67, tying him for second place . . . David Toms beat Dicky Pride with a par on the first hole of a playoff in the PGA Tour Champions’ inaugural Ascension Charity Classic in St. Louis. Toms hit his approach in the playoff on the par-4 18th to the middle of the green and two-putted from 18 feet. Pride’s approach went to the right into a greenside bunker and his 16-footer for par stopped an inch short of going in. Toms, 54, scrambled for par on the 18th in regulation after driving left into a fairway bunker. He shot a 5-under 66 to finish at 10-under 203 on Norwood Hills’ West Course, the tree-lined layout where Ben Hogan won the 1948 PGA Championship for his second major title.


Oregon, Iowa on the move

Oregon and Iowa were the big movers in the Associated Press college football poll after road wins over top-10 opponents. The Ducks’ victory over Ohio State earned them a promotion from No. 12 to No. 4. Another impressive defensive performance by Iowa in the Cy-Hawk Trophy game pushed the Hawkeyes from No. 10 to No. 5. Arkansas, coming off a home win over old Southwest Conference rival Texas, was rewarded with its first appearance in the AP Top 25 in five years, coming in at No. 20. Alabama remained No. 1 in the AP Top 25, receiving 60 of the 63 first-place votes. Georgia, which picked up the other three first-place votes, stayed at No. 2. Oklahoma was No. 3, followed by Oregon, Iowa, Clemson, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Ohio State, and Penn State. Oregon’s eight-rung leap came after its 35-28 win in the Horseshoe. The Ducks have their highest ranking since they finished the 2014 season No. 2 as the national runner-up to Ohio State.



High point for Salah

Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal to set Liverpool on its way to a 3-0 win over host Leeds that was marred by a serious ankle injury to Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott. Salah converted a cross by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 20th minute to become the 30th player to reach the milestone, with only four getting there quicker than the Egypt winger’s 162 appearances. Fabinho poked in a second goal at a corner in the 50th and Sadio Mane added a third in stoppage time, extending Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season after four games. Liverpool looks set to be without Elliott for a considerable period, though, after he hurt his left ankle following a tackle by Leeds substitute Pascal Struijk that earned the defender a red card in the 60th minute. The 18-year-old midfielder was in a lot of pain and Salah immediately beckoned Liverpool’s medical staff to come onto the field and treat Elliott, who was eventually taken off on a stretcher while receiving oxygen.



Palou race to front of IndyCar standings

Alex Palou recovered from a near first-lap disaster at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway to win for the third time this season and reclaim the IndyCar points lead. The victory put the Spaniard back on top of the standings for the ninth time in 14 races this season. The second-year IndyCar driver had lost a 42-point lead in back-to-back races and came to Portland down 10 points to Pato O’Ward . . . A simmering battle in Formula One erupted in spectacular fashion as championship leader Max Verstappen and defending champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix, which was won by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. As both Hamilton and Verstappen fought for position midway through the race, their cars came together in a move that could have seriously injured Hamilton.



Worcester, Portland stay red-hot

Tate Matheny’s two-run eighth inning blast gave host Worcester a 3-1 victory over Lehigh Valley in Triple A play. Worcester has now won 16 times in 19 games. Matheny followed Jeremy Rivera’s double with a homer measured 481 feet. Rivera got the scoring started with a solo homer in the third inning . . . Portland won its seventh game in a row with a 10-3 victory over Binghamton. Jay Groome, in his second Double A start, tossed six shutout innings, allowing two hits with nine strikeouts.