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Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington says he has no fear should any rookies automatically qualify for his 2020 Ryder Cup team at Whistling Straits.

“There are some young players coming through. There does feel like there’s a changing of the guard coming in some ways,” said Harrington on Monday morning at a news conference, marking the one-year countdown to the Ryder Cup.

• UK golf participation on the rise

Even though only two events have been played in the qualification process for the European team, Harrington believes there’s definitely going to be some new faces at Whistling Straits next year.

• LPGA players’ anger at ‘unfair criticism’

“There are a lot of young players that I have to get to know. There will be, you know, three or four, five rookies in the team, new guys, fresh faces. That’s just the world of golf.

“As I always say, the nine guys who qualify for my team, it doesn’t matter who they are. If they qualified, they play well enough to be there. They deserve to be there. I’m happy with any rookie who makes it into my team.”

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The Irishman also defended his decision to reduce his captain’s picks to just three for next year, adding one extra berth to the qualifying spots.

“The logic is basically anybody you pick is under pressure, more pressure, more stress, than a player who is qualified.

• Rory McIlroy “sick” of easy European Tour courses

“The way I looked at it is the ninth guy, how often with you skip the ninth guy in the rankings and pick four people after him? Not very often. It’s not something that you would probably do. You would normally pick the ninth guy. And why pick him and put him under pressure? Why not let him feel like he’s there on his own merits, no second-guessing, no judging. That would be my thought on it.”

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