KIAWAH ISLAND - Ryder Cup captains Davis Love and Jose Maria Olazabal will get a first-hand look of how their players are doing when they tee-off in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island this week.

The year’s fourth and final major brings down the curtain on the points table for the US team with the first eight gaining automatic qualification. Love will then announce his four wild card picks on September 4.

Olazabal has more time on his hands with the European team’s qualification process not being finalised until after the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on August 26. The Spaniard will unveil his two wild card picks the following day. Already both are facing potentially tough decisions about whom to chose and who to leave out. For Olazabal, European stalwart Padraig Harrington is languishing down in 19th place in the standings and facing an uphill struggle to take one of the automatic qualification spots.

The Irishman was one of three wild-cards chosen by Colin Montgomerie two years ago ahead of the contest at Celtic Manor in Wales, but this time around only two captain’s picks are allowed and Olzabal may have other ideas.

“He’s well down the list - he will have to really do extraordinary well here,” Olazabal said.

“We’ve known Padraig, he’s a very methodical player - he really works hard at it.

“I’ve played with him a couple of times during this year. From tee-to-green his game has been fairly good, but I think his putting has let him down this year so far. “Three weeks left - if he really does extraordinarily well, he can have a great chance of making the team still, but it’s going to be up to him.”

Olazabal sounded more upbeat about countryman Sergio Garcia, another Ryder Cup favourite who is just outside of the top 10 places in the points table.

Garcia has sounded downbeat about his golf and form over the last year, but Olazabal is fully aware of the energy and drive he has brought to previous Ryder Cup contests.

“You’ve seen him play a Ryder Cup. He’s a great team player. His spirit is always really good,” Olazabal said.

“And in that regard, I think he’s a great asset to the team. He has obviously the experience, the knowledge. He wants to be part of it.

“It’s true that at the moment, his game is a little bit off, but if you are looking at the players to be on your team, Sergio would certainly be one of them for sure.”

Tiger Woods is the only American sure of being in the side thanks to his lead in the points table, but that is not the case for Phil Mickelson who is eighth and needing a good showing at Kiawah to cement what would be an American record of nine caps if he is in Chicago.

Questioned on whether he could see a situation where Mickelson is not given a wild-card if need be, Love replied: “He could be hurt or not want to play.

“I’ve talked to Phil several times this week and watched him play a little bit and he’s very excited about making the team.

“I think he and Steve (Stricker) and a lot of guys are trying really hard to make the team and that might be hurting them a little bit.

“We have all been there - the last few weeks you press a little bit, you try a little too hard.

“I have a feeling that Phil is going to play well sometime in the next three weeks and it will be back to normal for him.

“He doesn’t want to get picked. When you keep making a bunch of teams you don’t want to be picked, you want to make it. I know he’s grinding.

“But it would be hard to play without him. He’s been such a big part of a lot of Ryder Cups in a row.”