Published Monday, 27 August 2012
Padraig Harrington failed to win a wildcard from captain José María Olazábal. (© Getty)
The coveted places in the team went to England's Ian Poulter and Belgian big-hitter Nicolas Colsaerts, with Dubliner Harrington - a three-time major champion and Ryder Cup regular - left out.
Olazábal admitted it was never an easy decision to leave anyone out.
"They're all disappointed. I know they really wanted to be in the team," the Spaniard said.
"I talked to the next four or five guys on the list - I talked to David [Lynn], to Rafa [Cabrera Bello], Álvaro [Quirós] and Padraig [Harrington]. I made those phone calls. It's not easy."
Speaking specifically about Harrington, Olazábal added: "I know he's a great player.
"I would've loved to have him in the team - the same way I would have loved to have Paul Casey, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson ... great players.
"But you need to be playing good, simple as that. I think he took it well."
Olazábal could have become the first captain for either Europe or the US to lead a team without any debutants for the first time since the tournament began back in 1927.
But instead, he handed his wildcards to the two players who came closest to qualifying for the team on points - making Ryder Cup rookie Colsaerts, 29, the first Belgian to play in the biennial event.
This is something I have wanted since I was a little kid, to be a part of such a big team with a captain with such great history.
"Everyone of you guessed Ian was going to be there for obvious reasons," Olazábal said.
"He has a great Ryder Cup record ... his attitude and spirit in the Ryder Cup team has always been great. He likes to be in that situation, it gets the best out of him.
"Nicolas is a rookie, the only rookie in the team - his matchplay record is very good, he has a very solid season. And on top of that, he has made the extra effort to try to make the team."
Colsaerts has jumped from 1,305th in the world just three years ago to 35th, securing his biggest career win in May this year when he beat Portrush's Graeme McDowell to the Match Play title.
"I am living proof that if you want something badly it is only a matter of time if you put the work in. It's a bit of a fairy story," the Belgian said.
Olazábal's side features eight of the team who clinched victory over the US at Celtic Manor by a single point two years ago - match winner McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Poulter, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari, Martin Kaymar and Peter Hanson.
They are joined by Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, who have featured before but missed out last time round. Paul Lawrie also earns a place for just the second time - 13 years after his first Ryder Cup.
Both Poulter and Colsaerts said they were thrilled and proud to be included.
Europe will take on the US in the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah in Chicago from 28-30 September.