But his playing partner during the final round at Kiawah Island, Open champion Shane Lowry certainly boosted his prospects of being part of the European side which will defend the trophy at Whistling Straits in September.
Matching rounds of 69 lifted Harrington and Lowry into a tie for fourth behind Phil Mickelson, who jumped from 52nd to 16th in the US Ryder Cup rankings after remarkably claiming a sixth major title.
Harrington acknowledged that he is far more competitive on a windy golf course and that Whistling Straits and Kiawah Island demand a “very similar” style of play, but has no intention of putting that to the test.
“I’m well past that time,” said the 49-year-old. “I’m too long in the tooth now at this stage, sweating through five rounds of golf and all that goes with it.
“I’m very much dedicated to being the captain. I’m letting other people have their time. I had mine. And you can’t do both. Nobody’s ever going to be a Ryder Cup captain and a player at the same time.
“It’s a full-time job being the Ryder Cup captain. There’s no doubt about it.”
Lowry is just outside the automatic qualifying places and made the most of his chance to impress Harrington, although the pair are good friends and frequent practice-round partners.
“Shane, as we know, is a big-time player and likes playing big golf courses on the big occasion,” addd Harrington. “There’s a quality about him; he wouldn’t stand on a tee box and fear anybody.
“There’s nine guys in there but if you want to get a pick, you’re going to have to impress because I seem to have an abundance of players in the running.”