Two years ago the three-time major champion found out he had been given a wild-card pick by then captain Colin Montgomerie while he was playing his final round at Bethpage State Park.
This time he went in knowing even a victory may not be enough after Jose Maria Olazabal, who will captain the European team at Medinah Country Club in a month's time, gave a gloomy pronouncement about his prospects.
It looked like Harrington might claim that victory when he opened with a seven-under-par round of 64 on Thursday but two 75s ended his hopes, although he did at least finish with a 68, including a birdie on the 18th.
Harrington has not entirely written off his chances and will be listening to the announcement on Monday, but he clearly is not expecting his name to be among the chosen 12.
The 40-year-old said: "It will be easier to talk about it after tomorrow.
"I don't want to give an opinion on not making it or anything like that until it officially happens. I've played six, I've won four out of six, I'd dearly love to be there."
Much has been made of Harrington's relationship with Olazabal, which was soured by a spat at the 2003 Seve Trophy, but the Irishman is confident that will not play any part in the selection.
He said: "The one thing I don't think anyone could accuse Jose of is not being competitive.
"He would want to have the best team there. It means more to Jose to win than anything else so I can't see it having any effect whatsoever.
"I've got a better relationship than you think with him, but even if I had no relationship with him I think he'd still want to pick the 12 best guys."
Harrington's cause was certainly not helped, though, by Nicolas Colsaerts' failure to finish in the top two at Gleneagles on Sunday and therefore guarantee himself an automatic spot.
The feeling was Harrington had a better chance of being preferred to out-of-form German Martin Kaymer, who would have dropped out, than Belgian Colsaerts.
The Irishman, meanwhile, felt the exceptionally fast conditions at Bethpage on days two and three may have been the final nail in his coffin.
He said: "I think it might have hurt my cause. When you're out of sight from home, and I ended up playing probably the same golf all four days and it looks like I've played poorly day two and three.
"Two 75s on the card doesn't look very good when you're trying to show form but I'm playing well, what more can I do? I'm happy with that anyway. I'd rather be playing badly and picked but I'm happy that I'm playing well."
The first wild card is almost certain to be given to England's Ian Poulter and, although he has not yet been told anything by Olazabal, he will not be sweating as he awaits the Spaniard's phone call.
The 36-year-old said: "I'm feeling fairly relaxed about the situation. Obviously it's not done until it's done but I won't lose any sleep tonight.
"Hand on heart I've not been told anything. That would be disrespectful to everybody else and that would never be the case. Olazabal's a true professional.
"I would presume I'll get a call at some point. I'm sure he'll call me before announcing the selection but whether that's tonight or tomorrow morning, I don't know."