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Monty's gamble as Harrington edges Casey

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Iain Carter | 21:26 UK time, Sunday, 29 August 2010

Eduardo Molinari effectively shoved Paul Casey out of the European Ryder Cup team with his hat-trick of birdies to win the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Casey was undoubtedly in the side until the Italian forced the issue to make it possible for brothers to appear in the biennial match for the first time since 1963.

But the real selection issue was between Casey and Padraig Harrington and it was a brave call to favour the latter despite his three major titles. On raw form the nod would surely have gone to the Englishman.

While Harrington was sitting out the weekends of the Open and USPGA, Casey was challenging at St Andrews and banking a healthy cheque at Whistling Straits. This, though, was a judgement by captain Colin Montgomerie that wasn't based purely on form.

The captain wants Harrington to be a focal point in his team; to make the most of his stature as a double Open and USPGA champion. Monty has piled the pressure on to him to deliver, especially when you consider that Harrington hasn't won a Ryder Cup match since 2004.

Casey, the world number nine, will feel bitterly disappointed to miss out and he has paid a heavy price for putting the FedEx Cup before the Ryder Cup.

That famed European team spirit is so crucial and his apparent indifference through the summer seriously undermined his claims in the eyes of many of the continent's stalwarts; figures like vice captains Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn.

They were fully involved in the discussions with the captain and his selections send a clear message that if you are going to be an American-based European you better play yourself into the side, because there are no guarantees if you don't.

Padraig HarringtonHarrington's status as a three-time major winner earned his wildcard - photo: Getty

You either have to have a very special CV, and no one currently playing comes close to the one Harrington boasts, or you have to make commitments in the way that Luke Donald did by playing the Wales Open in the spring.

This is where Justin Rose also fell foul despite his obvious partnership with Ian Poulter, his fine form this year and the three out of four points he scored at Valhalla in 2008.

Those players who stayed away from Gleneagles (Rose couldn't have qualified even if he'd turned up) put themselves at risk of the chop. Their choice, their priorities. It was only Harrington's stature that saved him.

It is not the strongest possible European team because players from the world points list are the first to qualify. As stated in a previous blog, if the lists were flipped and European money list points counted first Monty would not have needed to leave out the world number nine.

But the current set-up ensures that performances on the European Tour remain crucial and this is how Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez claimed their places.

In the last two weeks of qualifying Hanson and Jimenez delivered the results they needed and that's a big bonus for the home side at Celtic Manor.

Does it make up for the absence of Casey's through-the-air length, which will be important, and Rose's jaunty confidence?

Only time will tell, but the fact is this system is how events like the Czech Open and the Johnnie Walker Championship gain much of their significance, which is crucial to the health of the tour.

It's an inexperienced team with six rookies but of those Martin Kaymer is a major champion, Rory McIlroy is one of the game's biggest stars and the Molinari brothers are a ready-made partnership.

Fisher will most likely step into Rose's shoes as a partner for Poulter.

Sergio Garcia's role as a vice-captain is interesting. He brings great passion but who knows how Harrington will react to the Spaniard's presence? They have history, as they say.

The fact is Harrington will be grateful just to be in Wales. This is the Ryder Cup where he has to come to the fore as an on-course leader. It's a huge challenge and Monty is backing him to do it.

That's the captain's gamble and right now it feels like a decent bet.

It's been a good week for Monty, who was on seriously shaky ground at the USPGA as he tried to cope with outside distractions as well as the prospect of his big four staying away from Gleneagles.

The Scot dealt with his media obligations with aplomb this week and was able to re-assert his authority. He and his vice-captains are perfectly in tune and Team Europe seems on a more even keel despite what remains a controversial selection for the match on October 1-3.

It will only be then that we will fully know whether Montgomerie has chosen correctly. Casey and Rose's disappointment will be forgotten if he is holding aloft the famous trophy; they will be uncomfortable ghosts if the result goes the other way.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I agree. Casey can consider himself unlucky but only has himself to blame. I'm pleased Donald and molinari made it. Harrington gets in on reputation alone and the team a big performance.

  • Comment number 2.

    Someone has to deliver the message that giving priority to the PGA Tour over the European Tour carries a risk.

    Casey and Poulter got away with it in 2008. But Casey shouldn't expect concessions to be made for him every two years.

    A great shame he's not there, but he's made his proverbial bed.

  • Comment number 3.

    Big mistake by Monty leaving Paul Casey out - World number 9 and was number 3 not that long ago with a fantastic matchplay and Ryder Cup record!!! World Matchplay champion 2006 and runner-up at the last 2 Accenture World Matchplays. Harrington has no form for the last 2 years and a poor Ryder Cup record! Casey should have been Monty's 1st pick and never a doubt for the team! Massive gamble leaving Paul Casey out! The only bigger shock would be if Corey Pavin left Tiger Woods out - I can't see that happening!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Huge error picking Harrington. Rose was the obvious choice though not Casey, Rose put the PGA tour ahead and backed it up with a couple of wins. Casey hasn't.

  • Comment number 5.

    I am surprised Monty left Casey out. As previously mentioned he has a terrific matchplay record and is the best player of the three English men. Harrington would have been in my team all day. I accept that he hasn't got a great record in the Ryder cup but He has played in a fair few, meaning he is uniquely positioned amongst the current crop to help the higher than usual number of rookies.

    I don't see the argument for Rose at all. I accept he has been successful in the states a couple of times this year but his schedule meant he only wanted to luck into the team. Henever consciously chased it I would say. So I am delighted that Eduardo molinari got in. He did all that he could do and demonstrated his ability to handle pressure.

    I accept that this is not our strongest possible team but I would rather have a team of people to whom the Ryder Cup was their second goal after majors this year, the way it should be.

  • Comment number 6.

    The US will beat this European team just as they did last time. The US amended their qualification system to make sure their best players qualify. The European qualification is moronic. Rather then getting the best players, it seems optimized on propping up the European tour. Perhaps Europe needs to have its back side kicked a few more times before it decides it wants to win again and amends the selection process. The purpose of the Ryder Cup team is to maximize your chances of winning. Not to prop up an obviously inferior tour. Can anyone really blame Casey, Harrington and co for playing on the US tour? They are pro golfers after all. How is the European team stronger with Casey and Rose off it and Molinari and McGowan on it??? I am sure the Americans are rejoicing at European stupidity!

  • Comment number 7.

    Agree with previous post - this system appears designed to support the European tour rather than select the best.

    Picking Molinari on the basis on one exceptional tournament is naieve/

    And btw why do you need four........four!!!!!!! vice-captains???????????

  • Comment number 8.

    T @ 0048.

    McGowan isn't on the European team.

    Have you possibly confused Ross McGowan with Graeme McDowell, the current US Open Champion? He, of course, is on the team. As is Martin Kaymer, the current US PGA champion. And Lee Westwood, who was only pipped to the Masters by an inspired performance by Phil Mickelson. Interestingly, Mickelson is the only full-time PGA Tour member to have won a Major this year. The others have been won by European Tour members. The hysterically-vaunted FedEx Cup has been led for most of this year by a prominent (and current) European Tour member.

    One of the American commentators recently said that the European 'Second String' (by which he probably means the next 12 players who haven't qualified - Casey & Rose among them) would probably beat the US in the Ryder Cup. We shall never know. The US will be facing our A team this October and we shall see then how they get on, these players from an 'obviously inferior tour'.

    They may repeat the exploits of their predecessors from this 'obviously inferior tour', people like Langer, Ballesteros, Woosnam, Monty himself, Olazabal, etc, etc, and kick the US butts, as they did in 2002, 2004, 2006. Ballesteros voiced his concern that the US would lose interest in a contest it kept losing - and it seemed to be the case, as the opinion that the President's Cup was the more important contest...

    Really? The President's Cup? Yes - really. Despite poor viewing and attendance figures, compared to the Ryder Cup, not helped by American unwillingness to travel outside the USA or Canada, at a pinch.

    Conceding one win to revive interest in the US has to be swallowed, I suppose, but don;t expect an easy ride at Celtic Manor. Apart from anything else, I'll be there, teaching the crowd to chant 'Europa! Europa!', which sounds a bit more butch than 'Europe, Europe'.

  • Comment number 9.

    While I don't think Casey can have any complaints about being selected due to his attitude over the European Tour, I can't believe Molinari has been chosen above him.

    I can't understand how Monty can pick Molinari over someone who is clearly a better golfer, has played in the Ryder Cup, and has experience of being in contention for major championships.

    With a number of rookies already in the line up, you would've thought he wanted a bit of experience. If not Casey, then surely it should've been Rose?

    I know who the Americans would've least liked to have faced, and it wouldn't be the Italian.

  • Comment number 10.

    To be fair to Molinari, I believe he missed out on the team automatically on the World points list by a tiny margin and was very unlucky to have to rely on a pick. He's won twice this year in Europe and wasn't far off winning the Bay Hill Invitational in the US earlier on in the year either if I recall correctly. He would have probably made the team easily if he hadn't started behind everyone by only graduating to the main European Tour this season.

    The Molinari brothers won the World Cup together after all, people underestimate how valuable a partnership like that can be. I think Eduardo had to be a cert especially after his heroics today. He had to win to really force his way into Monty's thinking and he did, that's clutch play credit to him. Great demeanour for the Ryder Cup too.

    Casey had good reasoning to get a spot over Harrington however, although everyone can see why Harrington was picked. I worry about Harrington's long game though, which would not make him a smart foursome choice.

  • Comment number 11.

    "It is not the strongest possible European team because players from the world points list are the first to qualify. As stated in a previous blog, if the lists were flipped and European money list points counted first Monty would not have needed to leave out the world number nine."

    Interestingly this argument actually explains a lot about Montgomerie's choices. He picked the three players who hadn't otherwise qualified who would have been highest in the standings if the lists were flipped, Molinari at #6, Donald at #7, Harrington at #8. He also said that Justin Rose (#9) would be in ahead of Paul Casey (#12) if Lee Westwood were to pull out.

    World List
    1. Westwood
    2. Kaymer
    3. McIlroy
    4. McDowell
    5. Poulter
    6. E. Molinari
    7. Donald
    8. Harrington
    9. Rose
    10. F. Molinari
    11. Jimenez
    12. Casey

  • Comment number 12.

    I agree with previous comments about favouring the European Tour rather than picking the best 12 players.
    But those castigating the choice of Eduardo Molinari, he's won twice this year and had some excellent finishes whereas Francesco hasn't won once this year and his putting lets him down at crucial parts of a tournament.
    It was obviously not easy to consider dropping Harrington given his recent major achievements, but his form this year has been very poor and he has scored only one point in the last two Ryder Cups, hardly inspiring stuff.
    And I reckon Donald only got picked because he chose to support the European Tour. Everyone keeps bigging him up as a major winner, but he won this year for the first time in ages and he never seems to be able to put 4 good rounds together when it matters (he was 6 under for the round after six and finished 3 three under for the round!). Steady, yes but someone who strikes fear into the hearts of the US..... no way.
    Casey and Rose have won on the US soil this year beating the very players they will have been up against at Celtic Manor had they been selected which in my book they should have been.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm a Casey fan of many years, so thought I should just get that out of the way to start with. He knew he would have enhanced his chances of making the team by playing at Gleneagles, an event he has won twice, but the FedEx Cup is not easily ignored. It's worth bearing in mind how much golf Casey missed through injury last year and that he plays golf for a living, not for fun.

    That being said, I have no quarrel with the selection of Molinari ahead of him, not least because Molinari is on good form and supports the European Tour, as things stand. In this case though, it was not Molinari who was picked instead, it was Harrington and I'm afraid there is simply no logic to this selection.

    Harrington's form has been poor for a while, not least last night at the Barclays, and his major victories count for nothing against the opponents his team will be facing. What will Monty have done if he makes Harrington the linchpin and he gets soundly beaten, as he has done in recent matchplay events? That undermined the last team and look what happened to them.

    Certainly Monty couldn't win, not matter who he picked, as certain trash newspapers were ready and waiting to rip into him if he picked Casey. Why Casey was a problem for them only they can say, as Harrington, Luke Donald and Justin Rose were playing in the same event, but it would be a strange world indeed if our media actually offered genuine support to a representative team.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think Monty has picked a team that he believes can win the Ryder Cup, and I think the blend of experience and emerging players is probably about right. The only doubt I have is that Harrington may not be able to step up to the plate as he really needs to do. We have 2 Major winners in there, a ready-made pair for the foursome and four balls, and some good, steady players who won't be fazed by the US 'superstars'.

    Why is the Eauropean Tour 'clearly inferior'. Many PGA tour events are won by unspectacular players who can hit the ball straight and sink a few putts. It's target golf in many cases, but the money on offer is massive, which may tilt some opinions that it's better. As for the comment that Casey plays for a living not for fun, he's a multi-millionairre and you only need so much money. If he can't be bothered to make an effort to qualify, then he shouldn't expect to be picked as a right. That said, he is a fine player, with a strong matchplay pedigree.

    Whatever, let's just give the team 100% backing and I think we'll regain the Ryder Cup.

  • Comment number 15.

    While I'm Irish and delighted that Harrington was picked, I can't really see the justification for it based on form, both in recent events and in recent Ryder Cups. Sure he's good at matchplay, but Casey has proved himself pretty handy at Wentworth!

    Ultimately, I agree that Casey and Rose paid the price of putting the US PGA Tour first and therefore have only themselves to blame. However, didn't Paddy do likewise in the last few crucial weeks?!

    Donald at least showed some commitment to the cause by coming back to Europe (and playing very well) to try to qualify for the team. Although not very long of the tee, he is very straight, so would also be a good four-ball partner for a longer, more wayward partner.

    Monty must feel that Paddy is a better man to have in the locker room, although based on what Harrington himself said on Irish TV a few weeks ago, the other two must be really bad in that department! The pressure is on Paddy now to justify his selection - I hope he does a Poulter!

  • Comment number 16.

    I am sure we will all be behind the team when it gets to Celtic Manor and that is the most important thing.

    Not being Monty's biggest fan I expected him to cave in to public opinion but to be fair to him he didn't. He advised people to play the Wales Open - Donald did - he's in. He advised those who weren't in to play Gleneagles - they didn't - they're out. One exception being Harrington and to me the only confusing pick. No current form to speak of, not even that close to qualifying. Amazing! Monty says with 3 majors he couldn't leave him out - where was Faldo's call? Exactly, no matter how great someone's past is you have to have the men in form. AKA Rose.

  • Comment number 17.

    Overall I think Europe will win the cup back - and by a healthy margin. An American team in South Wales in October when its 9 degrees tops, blowing sideways and rain is rushing through the valley - they will hate it.

    Harrington in on reputation and 3 majors. I'm sorry the USA will hardly be trembling in their waterproofs to play Harrington - he has done nothing in the past 3 Ryder Cups and is harding the 'team player' you need in this competition. Stoke play master. Matchplay disaster.

    Molinari - brilliant yesterday and brilliant for most of the year with a proven match play pedigree. I can't wait to see the 'Mol Bros' in action. They will be under pressure to perform but needing 3 birdies in the last 3 holes to win and secure your place......not much more pressure than that.

    Donald - not a fan and think he will struggle with his lack of length if the wind and weather gets up in South Wales. However he has an awesome short game and in foresomes that can be a real bonus.

    Rose - not bothered he isn't in. Too cock sure of himself. Bye Bye Justin.

    Casey - VERY surprised he is not in. Number 9 in the world. Tough as nails in matchplay. A proven winner. Should have been in ahead of Harrington.

    Lastly I don't think you will see Peter Hanson in anything other than a singles match at Celtic Manor. He has been steady all year but it doesn't look like he has the killer matchplay instinct in him. He is defo the weak link in the 12.

    Anyone got any suggestions for Foresome and Four ball parings......other than the Mol Bros....??

    I would like to see


    Mol Bros
    Westwood and McIlroy
    Fisher and Poulter
    Kaymer and GMac

    Four Balls

    Mol Bros
    McIroy and Jeminez
    Westwood and Donald
    G Mac and Poulter

  • Comment number 18.

    Same controversy-different names. Have been fortunate to live through many Ryder Cups and their selections (remember Thomas Bjorn). Whoever Monty had chosen there would have been some expert or other criticising the selection. Simple, it will be correct if we win and a "grave error" if we lose. Instead of all this neagtivity lets get behind the team!

  • Comment number 19.

    We have to accept that the PGA tour is currently the premier world competition in terms of quality and prize money. The best players in the world will naturally gravitate to it. The Fedex cup is the culmination of the tour in terms of prize money and to expect the top players to miss it to try and qualify is unrealistic. Missing the Barclays event means missing all four weeks not just this one.

    The question then is why did they set the final qualifying event to clash with the first round? Crazy! Surely it would have been smarter to end the qualifying earlier or switch the Gleneagles event with the Czech one so that the climax was last week?

  • Comment number 20.

    I would have picked Casey not harrington. Look how badly Harrington performed in his own country and how well Casey performs in matchplay scenarios; with everything else I agree with, especially including Garcia! Cant wait for Wales, Tiger or no Tiger.

  • Comment number 21.

    Harrington scored nil points over 9 matches in the last 2 Ryder Cups. You do the maths Monty!
    The US tour is the Premier League of the golf world and the European tour is at best the equivalent of the Championship. Just take a look at the list of players last week in New Jersey and Gleneagles......Peter Baker and Sam Torrance. Enough said!
    Ridiculous to leave out two top quality players, both on form and both used to playing against the US players every week.
    This looks more like the old boys club picking Harrington and punishing Rose and Casey that don't support the lower of the two tours.

  • Comment number 22.

    "Ridiculous to leave out two top quality players, both on form and both used to playing against the US players every week." MRHJ

    Molinari has won 2 of his last 6 tournaments and had a 3rd so looks good for a form pick to me and the second point about playing against americans is irrelevant.

    Monty has picked the players that he believes make the best team - he clearly believes that Harrington brings more to the team than Casey or Rose. That is the way it should be.

  • Comment number 23.

    Load of guff about it being a massive gamble imho. It's a team of 12 and you can't talk about the strength of the European team in depth and then say it's a massive gamble to have someone like Harrington in over the likes of Casey or even Rose.

    There is a lot of Ryder Cup inexperience in the team even if Kaymer has a major, Rory a rising star and the Molinaris a ready made pair so putting someone in with World Class stature, who has a winning mentality is a good play - as it is to have Sergio in as another VC. It's a team that knows each other pretty well from the ground up with everyone being a current player and you have to assume that Monty's experience (along with DC, McG etc.) within the team and on tour means that he knows the mentality of these players and what they are likely to offer the team. Peter Hanson may be an unknown quantity but you know Monty will blood everyone as quickly as possible because you can't use the singles on Sunday to do it.

    Monty has put a team together rather than plumping for the individual and good luck to them.

  • Comment number 24.

    Is the PGA the better tour or is it the one that's got the most money and therefore attracts the better players who want to chase that money? It's built itself huge sponsorship on the back of having an american world number one who attracts huge tv audiences. A world number one who had time after his return but couldn't qualify for the Ryder cup. Which tour is producing the winners for the big tournaments on both tours? Possibly because instead of perfect courses and target golf receptive greens the Europeans have to learn to play in different and at times indifferent conditions. Go Europe I say and show those doubters quality and money aren't necessarily the same thing!

  • Comment number 25.

    As far as I can see this is going to be a problem every two years unless the Enuropean Tour change it's automatic qualifying system.

    The FedEx cup is not going away. How else can he PGA TOUR persude the likes of Tiger and Phil to turn out in September? Both use to swith off once the PGA Championship finished. The PGA TOUR is where most of the worl'd leading players go ot, so it is inevitible most top European players will want to ply on it to some extent. If you count the Majors, the WGCs and THE PLAYERS, seven of the eight biggest tournaments in men's golf are played in the US. Even regular PGA TOUR events such as The Bay Hill, The Quail Hollow and The Memorial boast stronger fields and bigger purses than the top Euro Tour events. Golf is an individual sport largely (The Ryder and Walker Cups being notable exceptions of high=progile team events) and players from these shores cannot be blamed for wanting t test tehir mettle againt the best in the world if it sets them up with a chance to win one of the big prizes. Even The Open is played on a type of course which players rarely come accross in regular Euro Tour eents (the dunhill links is played well after The Open).
    However, with The European Tour delaying the closing of their automatic spots until after the PGA championship (presumably so it can be announced after a marquee event like The Johnnie Walker), this is going to create problems for the forseable future as every time it comes to Ryder Cup selection, the PGA TOUR players are going to be faced with the choice between The FedEX CUp and Ryder Cup qualificaion- this is not going to be a one-off issue for this season only. THE PGA TOUR cannot move the FedEx Cup to after the Ryder Cup- Can anyone iamgine playing The Barclays (A New York event) in Novemeber? Or for that matter, The Western Open (it's played in Chigargo- which gets very harsh winters)? Likewise The Euro Tour aren't going to move The Johnnie Walker forward a week- we've heard some of the adventures players have had trying to get back to this side of the pond from the PGA to the play a low-key event like the Czech Open, so that's a non-starter.
    I suppose the Tour has to ask itself does it want to use the RC as a means of providing support and publicity for The Euro Tour- in which case they should dispose of the current system and revert to the old one and select pureky based on money earnt in Euro Tour events. If they want to pick the strongest Euro side possible, then there has to be a different way of doing things- Maybe look at the system the PGA of America (Not the PGA TOUR, note) use to select the US side- greater weighting is given to Majors and rceent performances, so Casey and Rose may have made it under this system). The European side is not so much better than the US one tha it can afford to leave the 9th best golfer in the world at home.

  • Comment number 26.

    Political correct rubbish! Casey and Rose are well worth picks ahead of Harrington (no form or Ryder Cup record) or Molinary (rookie number 6!). A clear bias/sop to the (inferior)European Tour and perhaps even, anti English dominance. What should be a home win is now much more in doubt. And, why 4 assistants plus 'celebrity' buggy drivers etc? PICK THE TEAM TO WIN!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Harringtons selection over Casey came down to personality in the dressing room. Casey isn't known for his team play, His match play record, however, is second to none.
    So I think Monty went for the affect Harrington may have on team spirit over Caseys record.
    Although, if it came down to a choice between Casey and Donald most would probably have plumbed for Casey.
    Its worth noting that the next 3 in line for selection from the World points list were Molinari, Harrington and Donald. With Rose next up, whom Monty has told is 1st sub if Westwood doesn't make it.

  • Comment number 28.

    We are forgetting that Westwood is a question mark and not 100% so should Casey get the nod then, and how late will that decision be made?

  • Comment number 29.

    After those selections I think the US will retain the Ryder Cup. I don't care about the difference between the US and European tours, we are meant to have the best 12 European players out there, and the fact is we don't. Harrington's selection is a joke, he has done nothing since winning the USPGA and his Ryder Cup record is not good at all. Also, he plays on the US tour as much if not more than Casey and Rose, so that argument goes straight out of the window. Unlike Casey, who went on to win, he wouldn't play at Wentworth, the Euro tour's flagship event last year. It would have been hard to choose between Casey and Rose, as the US players would hate to play either of them, especially given Rose beat Mickelson in the singles last year. Also, Harrington doesn't have an obvious partner in the team, where both Casey and Rose do! So basically, there is nothing to justify Harrington's selection over Casey, not if you want Europe to win anyway. Casey is number 9 in the world and a proven matchplay specialist, as well as an enormous hitter. Last year the US won because they had their 12 best players out there. We didn't and we don't again this time thanks to old fashioned "you need to play on the Euro tour" jibes. The best Europeans will become disinterested in the competition if they can't get picked just for playing on the better tour.

  • Comment number 30.

    @28 jimroscow - if any player doesn't make it, the next in the list that he qualified from automatically gets the call. Westwood qualified from the World Points list and next in line from that list is Justin Rose at #9, as was stated by a previous poster. I guess only if a wildcard dropped out, Monty would get another wildcard pick.

  • Comment number 31.

    I can't remember a more difficult year for a Ryder Cup captain to pick his wildcards.A captain a few years ago had maybe one or two players playing predominatly in the States,now it is over half the team.The way i look at it is,if i was going into the local bookmakers to place a bet on any of the four majors who would i pick to give me a good run for my money.As well as Westwood and Mcilroy right up there would be Rose,Casey,Stenson, Karlson and even Clarke and Garcia.Maybe it is time for the captain to pick all the team? Now that would keep the media going for a few weeks!

  • Comment number 32.

    So Saintmark, you would select Westwood, McIlroy, Rose, Casey, Stenson, Karlson, Clarke and Garcia for their ability to compete in majors!!!?

    Admittedly I too would go with Westwood and McIlroy but my next 3 picks would be Harrington, Kaymer, McDowell for their ability to actually win majors.

    Harrington has won more majors than the rest of the entire team together but don't let that cloud your judgement people. It's obviously always a celtic conspiracy when you didn't get 3 Englishmen selected as wildcards.

    I'll go now. Let the uninspired whining continue.

    P.S. I can't wait to see the Ryder Cup now, safe in the knowledge that Montgomerie hasn't bowed to the English media. Bring it on! :)

  • Comment number 33.

    Let's hope Harrington can deliver I think Monty has got it wrong but he get's a lot wrong. I just hope he's not playing the pals card never mind a wild card.

    If we don't win the Ryder Cup just wait on his excuses.

  • Comment number 34.

    It's a mistake to pick Harrington in my opinion. The issue of supporting the European Tour is a red herring-since Harrington, Casey and Rose all don't REALLY support it. I can see how Rose wasn't picked-a great US season, but form off recently, poor majors and not a power hitter. Casey-I just cant understand his ommision. Gret major form, super long through the air for what will be a very long wet course, 9 in thw world and an excellent matchplay record/ryder cup record. Harrington has nothing except a great past CV-his form has been mediocre at best this season (and last), his last 2 ryder cups were poor, he isn't that long-why????? I think he has been picked because of his friendship with Monty and the fact Monty admires his majors-silly and a mistake.

    For me it should have been Mollinari, Casey and Donald or Rose (toss a coin!)

  • Comment number 35.

    Yonexdriver has it right, the PGA tour has the money but I don't see it producing better golf. Tiger, Phil, Steve Stricker, Furyk (or any American) are never going to play outside USA unless they have to (fair enough, why should they) so the world points tariff for the events they are in are obviously going to be higher. Now some Europeans have played and settled in USA, they are winning the PGA tour comps more consistently than the Americans (proportionately given the % of Americans to Europeans per competition) and with this comes higher world points. This does not make the PGA tour better, it just means that when you win, you get more credit (in terms of world points).
    Let's be honest, players and competitions on both tours are EXCELLENT so winning in USA is, in terms of quality of golf played, just the same as winning in Scotland.
    So given the system he had to play with, although he seems to have favoured the European Tour, that can't be held as an argument against Monty's picks. Molinari is likley to be just as capable as Rose and Casey and both Hanson and Molinari have shown immense resilience in the last few weeks compared to the cop out option taken by "I've done all I can do" Casey.
    Its not the team I would have picked but its well-considered and is based on both a philosophy and a strategy. You can't ask for more than that.

  • Comment number 36.

    Quite clearly as Iain Carter says we have the lists the wrong way around. If we want our 'best team' we should be taking the top 5 from Europn list then the next 4 from the World pts which case the qualifiers from the World pts list are led by EDOARDO Molinari with Donald, Harrigton & Rose following. Interestingly then, it is FRANCESCO Moli who is relying on a pick and selecting 3 from Fisher, Hanson, Jimenez, Moli F & Casey is much easier & probably comes down to a choice between Jimenez & Fisher for the last spot, unlucky Fisher (& Hanson.

    But at the and of the day, as the way things stood it is about captain's picks and who HE wants in the team / dressing room, not necessarily who anyone else perceives to tbe the 'best players'. Yes with Harr'ton there probably was something of the old pals card (they have history of playing together) and despite what Monty said in interview, Donald playing those 3 events in Europe (inc Celtic Manor) has clearly influenced him and rightly so, as he stated at outset that he wanted to see the candidates at Wales Open.

  • Comment number 37.

    Molinari is a great selection as he is one the most the consistent players over the year.

    Paddy H is the real surprise selection, it just doesn't make sense. It not a form selection.....

  • Comment number 38.

    People forget, form sometimes doesnt play a part in selection. Just look at Monty when he was picked!!! Faldo picked players last time aorund based on form, did we win? NO.

    Molinari,Donald and Harrington are 3 great picks, Harrington is one of Europe`s most succesful golfers and his stature alone means he should be on the team. Casey was unlucky but should have played his way onto the team. Justin Rose as far as im concerned repeatedly shuns Europe and was never going to picked.

    Come on Europe.

  • Comment number 39.

    My Pairings would be -


  • Comment number 40.

    First of all, aren't we now Europe. Some opinions of our European colleagues smacks of our English arrogance. Lets not forget it was a total mismatch until we started to get the likes of Ballasteros, Olazabal and Langer involved.

    The likes of Casey and Rose knew the score. The Fedex wont go away, ok, is it going to be played each year ? Yes. Is the Ryder Cup played each year ? No

    So, why for heavens sake, cant you prioritise ?

    Its like the playoffs in football when the 6th placed team wins promotion and everyone whinges about the unfairness. You know the state of play when you begin, the only time you can whinge is where the rules are adjusted late on e.g the European playoffs for the World Cup were not going to be seeded but then were. If you know the score, you make the choice, dont cry when its the wrong one.

  • Comment number 41.

    Terrible but typical decision to play Harrington. He is out of form, has not won a Ryder Cup match since 2002, was hopeless in the last Ryder Cup captained by Faldo, I suspect there was not a good team spirit with him and couple of other players and he has still been picked!! Mongomery should have learned from Capello's disaster in summer not to pick out of form players because they have a reputation or are one of the 'inner sanctum' I hope it backfires on Mongomery it will serve him right because he has not made the decision on logic or merit.

  • Comment number 42.

    I think Monty's picks are good. There was always going to be at least one class player omitted and I feel sorry for Casey, but as others have pointed out if you rely on qualifying via playing in the US and don't make it, then you really cant expect to always get a pick. Most years he would have got one, but there were too many others in the mix this time.

    Europe have had so much sucess in recent times in the RC because of their team spirit and we were better than the sum of our parts, if you know what I mean. USA had the higher-ranked players overall, but it was Europe's camaraderie that lifted our performance so much.

    However, the way golf is evolving, Europe are in danger of losing that team spirit as guys like Harrington, Donald, Rose, Casey, Poulter etc are probably more or less strangers to the Euro tour crowd. I think it was one of the Molinari's who said he didn't even know the 'Fedex four'.

    The new crop of Americans coming through like Dustin Johnston, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar etc are probably more friendly and the roles could be reversed this time around.

  • Comment number 43.

    "So, why for heavens sake, cant you prioritise ?"

    It's very obvious that's precisely what they did, yet two of them were picked anyway.

  • Comment number 44.

    The arrogance of the English is shining through here, its a EUROPEAN team remember folks, cant believe some are trying to compare this to anything like Cappello and his bunch of over paid "stars".

    Monty has made great choices, Casey and Rose knew the score and have no given right to be near the team just because they are English.

    Inclusion of Garcia - masterstroke.

    Come on Europe.

  • Comment number 45.

    Firstly, post 32 - please! This stuff about 'celtic conspiracy' and 'bowing to the English media'. You are presumably Scottish, Irish or Welsh (or if not, what's your point?). It looks like you have some kind of chip on your shoulder about this. This is about golf not nationality. By the way, I'm Scottish.
    On to the golf, presumably Montgomerie knows his players better than us in terms of dressing room presence, personality, strengths etc etc, so you have to say he is in a better position to judge than us.
    It is also right say that he has an embarrassment of riches. When have we been in a position to complain that a triple major champion has been picked! Even if he is supposedly off form.
    For my money, the thing in Molinari's favour is that his brother is already qualified. This gives Monty a ready made team and takes away the headache of who to play with who. Other than that, his inexperience would have counted against him, because this team is quite low on experience with a number of rookies and a couple with only one RC to their name.
    Personally, I think it hurt us that Hanson got in during the last week or two, and to a lesser extent Jimenez (although many would argue against that one). Had recent results gone differently then Donald may have retained the automatic spot that he held up until recently, Jimenez may have dropped out of the automatic spot and Hanson may not have got in.
    Then the team would have been:
    Fisher (who also left it quite late)
    F Molinari

    Then he would have been able to pick 3 from Harrington, Rose, E. Molinari, Jimenez, Hanson and whoever else. From these, I would have picked Harrington (for his experience), Rose who performed well in his only RC (and beat Mickleson and has two US wins this year) and probably Molinari (to team up with his brother). That said, Jimenez is not a bad player to have at all.
    Personally I think that would have been his best team. Hanson's late run, coupled with certain players' reluctance to enter qualifying events, has arguably weakened the team.
    The other thing I would say is that the Ryder Cup is very hard to call. It has been since GB/Ireland became Europe. One or two points - or putts - here or there can swing it. Most players (if not all) are top 100 ranked or even top 50 and the margins there are miniscule. Look at some of the results over the last few years - Price beat Mickleson, Rocca beat Woods, Monty unbeaten in singles, Harrington (3x major winner) pointless in last 9 games, Woods with a mediocre record. Also look at the partnerships that sometimes just gel and become unbeatable. Seve and Ollie, Garcia and Parnevik and so on. In short, the cup will be decided by a fine margin whoever is in the team.
    One final thing, I hope we have now seen the end of this "get the crowd on our side" mentality. After Kiawah and then Brookline (which was the biggest disgrace I have ever witnessed) I think it was appalling that Azinger chose to start this 13th man rubbish. Perhaps it was well intended, but the effect of this was that the crowd started trying to intimidate the Europe team, and young players like Kim started trying to incite them even more. It's golf not football for goodness' sake. Surely golf should be left alone as one of the few sports that retains some integrity. I think azinger's behaviour took the gloss off their win, and was tantamount to saying "we can't win with pure ability, so lets use gamesmanship instead." I hope this won't happen at Celtic Manor or any future matches for that matter

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm quite pessimistic about our chances after seeing the selection. Monty knows what it takes to win the Ryder cup but I'm just not really feeling it this time round. There's no doubting the potential of all our picks to perform when it counts. However I'd liked to have seen either Rose or Casey in there.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think Harringtons decision to play the fedex was based on the fact he knew he was in the team weeks ago unlike Casey and Donald..

    Ed Moliniari is a no brainer and was probably his second pick. Expect himself and ghis brother to clean up.

  • Comment number 48.

    Maybe the Ryder Cup is changing?
    We have Americans asking why they don't get paid.
    Tiger Woods worrying about tax implications.

    I think it is time to change the format and the selection
    criteria. The captain must be able to pick more players
    and the world rankings must be the only selection criteria.
    Example: our players mature and improve when they learn
    to win on the USA circuit.

    I would also favour more singles matches and fewer fourballs.

    Casey has only himself to blame. The Fedex is all about money.
    He chose that and risked his Ryder Cup place.

  • Comment number 49.

    Typical Bloody celts sticking together!
    Harringtons done nothing to warrent his place apart from being Irish. With Monty,Mcginley and Clarke picking the team poor Casey had no chance.

  • Comment number 50.

    Just making an observation that The "World Points List" had absolutely no effect on the make up of the team this year..........time to go 1-9 on World Points(provided the player is in Top 20 of the Euro points) and 3 picks...............

  • Comment number 51.

    Agree that you cannot compare golfers with overpaid and over hyped footballers but the lesson to remember in any sport is not to pick players based on reputation but on form or as I said in the example you will end up as Capello has and I see he has still included the tired old clods in his squad again this morning but that's another story. In 1990 the public clammoured for Beardsley to play for England but Robson knew best however he was eventually picked due to public pressure and made an incredible difference, the same happened with Gascoigne in 1994, public pressure not 'someone who knows best' England will get beaten in Australia ashes because they will play Cook who never looks good against decent teams and Pieterson because of his reputation who is woefully out of form. The same will happen to Eng in the Ryder Cup because Casey and Rose should be both playing, they have good records in the Ryder cup which Harrington does not. Always learn the lessons of history!

  • Comment number 52.

  • Comment number 53.

    The Ryder cup is a team event, its not about individuals, Harrington has won 3 cups as part of the "team" that will do for me.

  • Comment number 54.

    Re: Post 50

    I think there is an argument that all the automatic places come from the world list as this would ensure our 'best' players are all there. Why you would have an additional criteria that they also had to be in the Euro top 20 is baffling, as that would count against all US-based Europeans. If you go for the World list, then I think you have to go for it without any strings attached.

    The reality is that this isn't going to happen as the European Tour will never vote for this. I fear that even now we really have 2 seperate groups of european players, and our previous advantage of having great team spirit to lift our game will be lost.

  • Comment number 55.

    The issue really is that the Fedex four all deserve places above Hansen and Jiminez and so does Eduardo M. It is the system that has failed to deliver a team of the best 12 European golfers to give us the best chance of winning - which I hope all agree is the point of the exercise.

    All talk of supporting the European tour is futile and if taken to the extreme of just selecting based on performances in Europe would simply ensure we lose 80% of the time and end up leaving the best European golfers out. To balance it in the future the captain may need 6 picks

  • Comment number 56.

    Well done Monty - I think we've got a team that will hammer the Americans.
    Eduardo M and Donald were no-brainers. Both deserved the pick. It was a toss-up between Harrington and Casey, and given the number of rookies on the team, I think Harrington was a fair choice. Casey has had a year to qualify for the team, and didn't make it so can't really complain.

  • Comment number 57.

    3 from 5 always leaves 2 out! If people agree on the 5 (Donald, Harrington, Molinari, Casey and Rose) then it is a matter of opinion what the 3 should be. There can be no right and no wrong choice. Monty and his team are the only ones that will have to live with their decision - the rest of us - well it gives us something to discuss.

  • Comment number 58.

    RE 54 (Powerhitter):

    Having the Top 20 in Europe stipulation is to add a bit of balance as regards playing some golf in Europe.
    In my sceanario this year, ONLY J.Rose out of the Top 9 on World Points was NOT in the Top 20 Euro points. And i am assuming had Monty this system this year that J.Rose would have bee one of the 3 wild cards

    Therefore i don't agree that it is "baffling" at all.........

  • Comment number 59.

    Any player relying on a wildcard and not making the team is not unlucky. They didn't get enough points in the tournaments that count. They knew the score and made their decisions. Even though it appears the wildcards were the next players in line on the World points list, if Monty had picked someone 10 spots further down there could be no complaints. The whole thing with the 3 wildcards is that the captain gets to pick 3 guys he wants in his team that didn't make it automatically. Its not to pick the top ranked golfer who missed out or a european playing well on the US tour. It's to pick 3 guys who he thinks will gel and add to the automatic places.

    Peronally I like Casey and think he would have been good in the team but irrespective of current form its hard to write off a 3 times major winner. So a hard decision was made. I think there was enough expertise in that captains panel Monty has to make a good decision...they would know the personalities of players and their strengths and weaknesses inside out. Probably looked at it a bit more than: Caseys No9 in world and Harringtons not in top form so Casey gets it.

    Ryder Cup is a team competition and anyone who has played or follows sport can tell you that a "Good Team" will beat a team of "Good Individuals".

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm very confused by the continued idea both stated in the article and repeated in most comments that it was a straight choice between Harrington and Casey for the third spot. Obviously Molinari winning at Gleneagles made him impossible to overlook, Harrington having won more majors than the rest of the side put together had an equally compelling case. But surely the third place was a direct fight between Casey, Donald and Rose? And personally I don't see how Donald got in ahead of Casey, let alone is assumed by almost everyone as an automatic pick. All three of them have very good Ryder Cup records, and to pick Donald on this basis you're going all the way back to 2006 anyway. Whilst Casey wins easily on the basis of world ranking, form in the World Matchplay and major events this year. Then if we go on tournament wins this year, Rose is the best option, and if we consider immediate form (the basis for selecting Molinari) Rose was doing best, followed by Casey and Donald had done poorly considering simply the Fed Ex cup standings after the 3rd round.
    I'm not saying I don't back Donald's selection, but I don't understand this assumption that he was an easy choice standing above the other two Englishmen.

  • Comment number 61.

    The question seems to be, are people representing their nations or the tour that happens to be based in their nation?

    The top golf tour in the world is the PGA, so surely the best players from Europe should want to play there, against the best opposition, rather than being forced to prop up the weaker European tour because of the way the rider cup points system is set up.

    How much are selections down to politics?
    Ensuring countries are represented and probably with Molinari making a point in support of the European tour.

    ..but then if people are representing the tour, you might as well have the south Africans and Australians who play on either tour able to qualify to play.

    Let's hope GB and Europe do well, but oh I wish the petty politician committee man influence would get out of sport.

  • Comment number 62.

    Luke Donald said: "I understand they want to protect the European Tour but at the same time the top guys are going to want to play against the best players in the world and you shouldn't be penalised for that."

    Ah, Luke, you've spent too long in America and swallowed their propaganda. (btw - did anyone hear the American commentator talking about Martin Laird, from Scotland, being an example of the 'globalisation of golf? A player from Scotland - rolls eyes!)

    Three of the four Majors are in the hands of European players - and the fourth was snatched from Lee Westwood by an inspired performance by Mickelson.

    Ian Carter has pointed out that the selection process gives priority to the World list - so should favour the PGA Tour players. It turns out that the top four in the World list are all Europe-based players - and only one of them was at The Barclays. So maybe you should look a bit more closely at your idea of 'best in the world'? Still, it was nice of you to pop over and mix with the oiks for a few weeks this Spring. See you at Celtic Manor in October. Which team are you playing for again?

  • Comment number 63.

    A team like Newcastle gets relegated from the Premiership. They have the big reputation in the Championship

    Would they hope to get back up on reputation via the playoffs, given that way is fraught with possible banana skins, or would they want to make sure and qualify automatically ?

    You can say what you like about how the European team is selected but the bottom line is. "Is your priority the Ryder Cup". Every other year, you can play for yourself.

    People have the choice.

    Personally Harrington has not done it enough recently, and in that way I am sympathetic to Casey but thats why we have Team Captains.

    I remember in 1986, Alan Hansen had just captained Liverpool to the double but was completely left out of the Scotland team for the WC despite being a 3 time European Cup winner and a far superior player to Miller and Mcleish. Ferguson opted to go with his former Aberdeen charges, that was his choice and at the end of the day, that is why he is manager, likewise with Montgomery. Lets also not forget that Montgomery probably epitomises the Ryder Cup and, unlike Faldo, is closer to this generation. Give them a chance and back them.

    We are Europe, we are no longer GB & N Ireland.

  • Comment number 64.

    It's depressing to read all the comments justifying selection because certain players wouldn't toe the European 'party line"

    Even more depressing is the title of this article. Monty should be crawling on broken glass to include big match players like Casey and Harringotn, who constantly strive to improve - put themselves under the harshest environment, but at then punished for daring to want to be 'winners'

    Of course Luke 'hey I'm my usual nowhere in the first 3 rounds of a major- but I'll nick the headlines with a good final round' Donald, who seems to have as much backbone as Mr Bean in as bullring - is perfect

  • Comment number 65.

    I would agree with kris (60) that Donald was not a shoo in. I would say that, on the face of it, Casey's credentials are superior, not least the fact that he is a long hitter which can be an added weapon in RC. With that in mind, Quiroz might not have been a bad player to have in? Presumably, the so called 'loyalty to the cause' (i.e. playing in a European event after Monty had hinted that it wouldn't be a bad idea) went in Donald's favour, and against Rose / Casey.
    I echo what SMV (59) said - the 3 picks are for the captain's discretion. Monty could have picked Garcia had he wanted to. Remember last time, Faldo picked Poulter and there was some criticism about that, until Poulter ended up being our top performer. James picked Coltart in 99, which ended up making him look foolish because he left him out until Sunday.
    Whilst I agree with exbishopsboy (55) that the system has failed us a little, remember that this system is better that the old one. In the 90's the criteria were just Europe based and then there were only two picks that went to someone like Parnevik who was highly ranked but played in the US. Had that system been in place we may have missed other players who have focussed on the US tour.
    Personally I would have chosen Rose (partner for Poulter), Casey (long hitter and good match player) and Molinari (to play with his bro'). Personally I don't think Donald brings enough to the party but overall it could be worse. Donald is an experienced Ryder Cupper and has won this year after all.
    I think we have a good chance, on the proviso that Monty can be as inspirational a captain as he was a player. I'm not 100% sure yet....
    Finally, despite the fact that he is probably our weakest player (on paper) I doubt that Monty will keep Hanson on the bench til Sunday. That tactic backfired on James in 99and I think there is an unwritten code now that will prevent that from happening. I think he will pair him with Harrington or Jimenez - someone experienced.

  • Comment number 66.

    "Three of the four Majors are in the hands of European players - and the fourth was snatched from Lee Westwood by an inspired performance by Mickelson."

    Really? Who won The Open, then?

  • Comment number 67.

    Molinari Bros got in because they both had excellent seasons, are proven matchplay champions and in my opinion will actually prove to be the Europeans strongest card.
    Harrington has not had as bad a season as people are making out (missed cuts at majors, fair enough, but so did other big names in what turned out to be very tricky majors this year). Yes, Harrington does have to step up for sure and prove the doubters wrong but I am 100% convinced he will do so.
    It's a very strong team; USA are in for a real shock this time around, mark my words...

  • Comment number 68.

    Great deabate and we all have our own opinions. If it had been up to me I to would have swapped Paddy for Casey.

    One other point would be, if these guys were so brilliant, why had they not qualified automatically through the 7 co-sanctioned events or by being up there in the world points list. They could have easily changed their schedule earlier in the year, sorted out qualification (as Donald to be fair tried to do)and the Fed-Ex would have been a non-issue.

    I would perhaps have prefered to maintain the credibility of the European Tour and not picked any of the four. We may have been beaten and that would have the been the four players fault and not necessarilly Monty's.

  • Comment number 69.

    A lot of assumptions being made that the Molinaris will make a good pairing..........personally i think they wouldn't for Day 1 anyway............two rookies together on the first morning is a no no............perhaps Day 2 when they have found their feet

  • Comment number 70.

    All those players that didn't qualify by right made it difficult for Monty - not one of them can argue about the scoring system or the choices. They all knew the rules. Harrington and Donald got lucky this time, next time they might all make the effort to qualify by right.

  • Comment number 71.

    The only question really was whether Monty would pick Harrington. Based on his last Ryder Cup performance and his form since then he has regressed to where he was prior to his major victories and the only reason for his selection is because he is a multiple major winner. I thought the timing of the press release was very interesting as well as the tournament in the US was still in progress, what if Rose or Donald had won???

    Monty seemed to give Molinari the opportunity to play himself onto the team but not Casey, Rose, Donald. because they had chosen to play in the States.

    For Europe to win the main issue will be whether the big names come out and perform for Europe... If I recall, 2 years ago Westwood, Harrington and Garcia didn't have a point between them.

    I still think there is a possibility that Casey might play as we don't have any idea how Westwood is doing with his recovery etc... He isn't leaving himself long to play his way into form after a prolonged absence.

    The one good thing is that Rose and Casey are both in the press saying the right things and supporting the team rather then bad mouthing the captain and the team unlike current vice captain, Thomas Bjorn in 2006

  • Comment number 72.

    The RC is a great occasion with great excitment but as pros, these players have a choice and they should not be penalised just because they want to play against the best in the world and in the richest tour in the world.At the end of the day, the RC is just an exhibition match, it looks good in yur CV but does not help to pay the bills.

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm with Kris post 60. Rose and Casey in, Donald and Harrington out. I don't understand why you pick off form players and not in form players. You would'ent back an out of form horse in a race so why pick off form players? In response to another post Alan Hanson did'nt get picked for the World cup as he never played well for Scotland, why? who knows, maybe not motivated, possible preferred the Liverpool players around him in defence? The USA will have the same problem, a clamour to pick Tiger Woods, the money men will be in on that but why pick a player who was hopeless in the Ryder Cup before and now seriously out of sorts. He's not a team player but he'll be there for certain at the expense of someone more deserving.

  • Comment number 74.

    Agree with (amongst others) the notion that top players surely don't organise their schedules around the Ryder Cup. I would say that most of them are aiming to be the best player that they can be. Within that they may have specific goals like winning a tournament, winning a major, keeping their card or whatever (depending on what level the player is). Making the Ryder Cup team might be on of these goal, but doubt it would be any player's principle aim. Many of them don't need the cash per se, but the most successful players are very driven and that means wanting to win week in week out. Not for the money, but for the prestige. Ryder Cup qualification should come as a bi-product of that. True that Casey and Rose didn't do well enough in the co-sanctioned events, although Casey was perhaps unlucky that he was deposed from an automatic spot quite late on.
    I also agree with #71 that the timing was a bit odd. Monty justified his choice of Molinari by the fact that Molinari had finished with 3 birdies to win. What if Rose or Casey had shot 59 or finished with 7 birdies or something? For the sake of a day could the decision not have been delayed. And did he really only make up his mind so late?

  • Comment number 75.

    No matter who Monty picked there were going to be some of us who agreed and some who didnt.
    My own preference would have been to pick casey in preference to Harrington while my golfing partner said Casey in preference to Donald.
    I`m afraid it`s one of those situations where you`re dammed if you do and dammed if you don`t. Either way I think Europe have a very good ballanced team that would be equally as strong by picking any two from Casey/Donald/Harrington/Rose.
    Lets look forward to some great competition - and of course a European win.

  • Comment number 76.

    always loved monty- my mom's bf even showed he and his wife houses in florida years ago. but i think he dropped the ball here. major winner or not, harrington alone or in any partnership just doesn't worry the usa team. but poulter/rose is a worrisome prospect. and rose can also handle himself/get hot in singles. but who knows- maybe harrington will "aww shucks" it right to the cup and end up the hero. i wouldn't bet on it like monty did..

  • Comment number 77.

    Donald was a shock for me. Sure he has won, the star studded Madrid Masters. MC at the Masters followed by 47th at Pebble, a decent showing of 11th at St Andrews then went it really counted MC at USPGA. No one deserves a pick if the dont qualify automatically. The qualifying system is fine... Players should do there utmost to schedule there year around the qualifying system if they wont a seat on the bus.

    The injury that Casey suffered took a lot out of him... he was on top of the world and then disaster. he tried to come back but then broke down... Missing months of qualifying. Through it all he remained positive and stayed inside the top 10. He has a winning mentality and has been one of the most consistent golfers over the past 18/20 months. he has all the attributes of a great "match player" with power and accuracy and a deaf touch with the flat stick.

    For me, it seems that the decision to leave him out was not entirely Monty's choice. He has always sung his praise, so it seems a little odd to omit him from the team. We may never know why he left him out but one thing is for sure... I'll be backing him this week to win!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    I am a Padraig fan but I do think he can count himself lucky to be chosen as a Captain's pick.His current form (based on a lengthy spell) has been inconsistent to say the least.The pressure is really on him now to produce a real performance for the team - as if he did not owe that to them after his recent Ryder cup performances.

  • Comment number 79.

    No 49. - Grow up - "Celtic plot"????

    I agree with Carter, this is a big gamble from Monty on Harrington, but I wouldn't bet against Monty's decisions when it comes to the Ryder Cup.

    Something that hasn't been mentioned is that Harrington spent most of the off-season changing his swing hence his loss of form. If you check out the end of last season, he was putting it up to Tiger (who was virtually unbeatable before his "accident") week-in week-out and was the only one challenging Tiger, not Phil, not Stricker, not Casey, Donald or Rose. HARRINGTON HAS SERIOUS GUTS. He has started to play better in recent weeks so let's get behind them all.

    I agree that the European Tour is still being propped up by the selection system, how much longer will this continue??? The European Tour events have to get better, they have to be able to compete for the world´s best golfers every week. Having so many Europeans in the Top 100 of the world, if they can attract these players, the tournaments will become more important in the world rankings and some Americans will start travelling.

    Don't agree with the yanks not liking the weather in Wales, the weather in the states can be a lot more extreme so I don't believe that will be a factor.

    Europe 17 - 11 USA.

  • Comment number 80.

    Europe will lose again, Monty like Faldo is not a popular golfer amongst golfers, and like Faldo is mentally challenged.
    Harrington's Ryder record is shocking, nobody in the world can find a way of justifying this pick over Casey or Rose.
    Monty got this wrong and will get it all wrong in Wales, just not captain material.

  • Comment number 81.

    The debate about the captain's picks is as heated as it is irrelevant. By definition, they are chosen to reflect the captain's assessment of the comparative strengths of the possible selections, and his sense of his team's priorities. No-one can possibly say at this stage whether any other particular golfer would play better than any one of Montgomerie's selections is going to.
    As it happens, like many others, I would have gone with Casey rather than Harrington, but I will be very interested to see how a proud man like Harrington, 3 majors and all, reacts to the pressure of the whole world knowing he didn't qualify on merit, and owes his place entirely to Montgomerie's judgment.
    A sign in my local used to say "If you want to call time by your watch, buy a pub." If you want to pick the wild cards for the Ryder Cup, . . . . . ?

  • Comment number 82.

    We have to get behind the team now. Questions-yes. The team has a European look about it which is good, players from many countries-England, Germany Sweden, Spain Italy, N Ireland, and Republic of Ireland. Did the selection of Harrington have anything to do with the point that it would be preferable to have an Irishman from the Republic in the team, Paul McGinley is after all a vice captain! Having said that Harrington has his valid claims for selection.

  • Comment number 83.

    I wouldn't take Harrington's Ryder Cup record from the last couple of times into account too much. If you're picking on Ryder Cup form then Monty would have played himself. Harrington's shown he has the bottle to win majors, which Casey and Rose have never done, so I don't think he's a bad choice.

    Also, I don't agree that the timing of the announcement was wrong. He didn't need to see what the Fedex guys would do on Sunday - he's seen them plenty of times before. He specifically wanted to see what Molinari could do under extreme pressure, and the guy came good on the day so well worth his selection.

  • Comment number 84.

    Of course, there's an argument for using the Ryder Cup as a way of improving the status of the European Tour, but it does mean you won't be picking the best team.
    It is abundantly clear that the US PGA Tour is the top tour in golf. If you look at Harrington as one example, his career stages have been: European tour winner, great European tour player, US PGA tour winner, great world player. It would be naive to assume that the Molinari brothers, Kaymer and Quiros won't go the same way as Poulter, Casey and Rose have: namely, across the pond. The European Tour is a good place to learn the game, but the stiffest competition is in the States. If you can compete consistently against Woods, Mickelson, Stricker, Els et al, you're one of the big fish.
    Casey and Rose have moved on to a higher level of play in being competitive players in America. If Europe wants its best team, the qualifying ought to reflect that.

  • Comment number 85.

    I think its a fair selection and I am delighted that Molinari got in. Casey and Rose cannot complain just like Harrington could not have had he been dropped. These rules were not made up last week. I feel for Casey as he is a huge asset. Perhaps Monty had told him that he was in if Molinari didnt win. I do not feel at all for Rose as he made his bed from the start of the year.

  • Comment number 86.

    As a proud Irishman, who loves his sports, I am always pleased to see other Irish men & women doing well in sports & most recently it has been the world of Golf that has been putting this little island on the map again. The achievements of both McDowell & McIlroy of late in the majors show that there will be many more great years to come for the Irish in the golfing world.

    However, while attentively listening to the BBC 5 Live commentary of the wild card picks for the Ryder Cup, I couldn't help but feel embarrassed & angry at the words coming from Montys mouth regarding a certain Padraig Harrington.

    While Harrington is undoubtedly one of the worlds best golfers with a vast wealth of Ryder Cup experience, he has for a long while now been underachieving (something I'm sure even he would admit to) & struggling to find any of the form of a few years back.

    However, even if he were in good form that would not be my main bone of contention with his pick as a wild card. Simply put, Harringtons record at the Ryder Cup is awful (just 7 wins in 21 matches) especially so when compared to Casey (only lost 2 from his 9 matches) & Rose (3 wins from 4 matches). Add this record to his poor recent form, the Irish Open aside, it just baffles me how he has managed to squeeze his way into the side at Celtic Manor.

    If Monty had wanted experience within the team (6 rookies in this years European team), surely he would have been better having Harrington as one of his coaches or advisers. The decision to include him in the team smacks of the old pals act (which I think someone on 5 Live mentioned with Harrington basically broadcasting he was picked at a previous tournament). If that is the case then the decision really does stink as it has deprived two far better matchplay players of a chance to represent their team on the biggest stage of all. Here's hoping that Monty realizes just how poor Harringtons record is & only plays him in the singles on the last day. I won't hold my breath though.

    Good Luck at Celtic Manor Team Europe

  • Comment number 87.

    No matter what you think about the qualifying system one thing is undoubtedly clear - this is the best European team ever put together. Maybe its not the strongest we could have picked - but its still stronger than any other team we have sent to a previous Ryder Cup. By any objective measure this team is a huge favourite to regain the trophy and wipe the smiles off those smug American faces.

    So why all the moaning? So what if Casey isn't in the side? Or Rose? Maybe it matters to them but if it did they could have changed things very easily. Why does it seem to matter so much to so many people here that the European team isn't a tiny bit better than it is? Are we really that bothered about the fate of these multi-millionaires that we are prepared to attack our own Captain and our own system just because they missed out? Can't that wait until AFTER the Cup IF we lose. After all nothing is going to change between now and then.

    From some of the comments above it seems that some of you are almost hoping we do lose so you can say "told you so". Is it because Casey and Rose are English? Or because this side is the most mixed side of European nationals in the history of the event? Would some people still rather it was GB and Ire playing?

    Come on - the team has been picked. Rose and Casey are out no matter how much you moan. Time now to move past it and get behind the lads and support them not criticise them. To shout not about those who missed out - but to shout for those who made it.

    Either you are behind the team - or you might as well start learning the Star-Spangled Banner and applying for your US citizenship. That way come the Cup you can cheer for your new nation.

  • Comment number 88.

    Cannot wait for the day when England has a three time major winner and opinion comes out on the side of not picking him based on current form. And the reason I cannot wait is that it is not going to happen for years and not with Rose or Donald or Westwood or Casey.
    Heavyweights of Golf go to the Ryder Cup. And ours this year are Harrington, McDowell and Kaymer. Do you think Tiger wont be picked becuase of form? Do you think the Europeans would like him to be missing? Always.

    Ludicrous arguments above. When Casey develops a mentality beyond poor for majors, then maybe he can play in the States and expect to be picked.

  • Comment number 89.

    Rather than debating whether Harrington should have received a wildcard pick, we should be asking how on Earth the 9th ranked player in the world doesn't get in automatically.

    I don't really pay much attention to the Ryder cup. I'm therefore somewhat surprised to discover the ludicrous selection policy.

  • Comment number 90.

    Let's hope the European team don't shrink away from a bit of USA intimidation like last time.

  • Comment number 91.

    Quote by J.Rose " i don't think too many would have come up with that three".............Come on Justin twas always 3 from 5 so its not that surprising.................

  • Comment number 92.

    Its easy complaining about the system but everyone
    knew the selection rules.
    Casey Rose et al chose to chase the money
    and took the risk. Casey's arrogance in particular when
    interviewed on tele left him open to little
    I personally although from the Emerald
    Isle would have chosen Casey over
    Harrington on recent form but hey ho only
    time will tell what is the right decision!
    If they want to change the rules why don't they
    change them to say you can only ever
    have one captains pick and then Casey would
    have known where he stood!

  • Comment number 93.

    I can't see the logic of Harrington improving the team spirit. Poulter, Donald, Rose and Casey are all good friends. You can play any combination of those four and they will get a good return of points. From reading Twitter and listening to interviews, it seems Poulter and Donald don't want Harrington there, they would have preferred Casey. So yeh, great team spirit already created

  • Comment number 94.

    So Poulter's not happy because his mates aren't in the team? He needs to remember Monty's the captain and he picks the wildcards. If Poulter's not happy, let him pull out and give his place to someone who'll be happy to play with anyone else in the team.

  • Comment number 95.

    When the captains picks are very questionable it doesn't exactly give the players the best confidence in him.

  • Comment number 96.

    I am Padraig's biggest fan, but even I would struggle to justify his selection given his extended lack of form and previous poor performances in the RC (the last one particularly sticks in my mind). However I can appreciate why Monty might have picked him as a leader and I really hope he can live up to the expectation (there is certainly no questioning his mental fortitude). I believe he will.

    For those wondering about pairings, I believe Padraig is pretty close friends with Martin Kaymer, so don't be surprised to see them playing together.

    The most questionable decision IMO is selecting Donald over Casey - I don't think there should be any question based on ability and form. Casey ticks all the boxes, so, seemingly the biggest mistake he made was not to play at Celtic Manor earlier in the year - that can be the only reason that Donald was selected. Equally I would choose Casey as back-up over Rose. I like Rose but I feel he has a tendency to crumble under pressure (witness his final day performance at the Travelers earlier this year).

    It was always going to be a tough decision, but I'm sure we'll all stand behind the team at Celtic Manor and cheer them on to victory.

  • Comment number 97.

    In an ideal world I would liked to have seen Paul Casey with his great matchplay record in the Ryder cup, probably even over Luke Donald. However the onus was on him to qualify. He did not. Neither did he make the effort to play in any of the European Events this year or come to Scotland to play the Johnnie Walker to make sure of his place. Instead he chose to hope for a wild card and play in the lucrative Fedex Cup. Not a good choice in my opinion.

    Harrington would have been my first 'wild card' choice and I am surprised that some people think he is undeserving. He is a fantastic putter and has the game and experience required at the Ryder Cup. Not to mention that he has won 3 majors in 3 years. Padraig deserves to be in the team, he is there on Merit.

    This the strongest ever European Team and I believe that they will win the Ryder Cup. I am sure the Molinaris will be Fantastic together in the Pairs/4 Balls and be our top point getters. They are world champions afterall and took down both McDowell/McIlroy and Rose/Poulter to win the event. I predict Europe will win the both the 4 balls and Foursomes and have a 4-6 point lead by the Sunday. Time will tell.

    My Favourite Pairs:

    Molinari Bros

  • Comment number 98.

    Interesting point #89. If you look at the world rankings there are some intriguing observations, such as:
    - Casey (now 8th) didn't make it. Neither did Rose at 23. But lower ranked players Hanson (40th) and Jimenez (38th) got in automatically.
    - E Molinari only got in via a wildcard and is 15th ranked, whereas F Molinari got in automatically and is only ranked 35th
    - Dyson would have got in had he won this weekend and he is only ranked 65th (although that would have risen had he won)
    - Some people felt Rhys Davies should get picked - he is ranked 52. Almost no-one thought Garcia should be picked. He is 53.
    - Had the world ranking been the sole selection criteria, the team would have been:
    Lee Westwood, 3
    Martin Kaymer, 5
    Rory McIlroy, 7
    Paul Casey, 8
    Luke Donald, 11
    Ian Poulter, 12
    Graeme McDowell, 14
    Edoardo Molinari, 15
    Padraig Harrington, 19
    Justin Rose, 23
    Ross Fisher, 26
    Henrik Stenson, 31
    Rose, Fisher and Stenson would have missed out had there been 3 wildcards. But there would have been no automatic places for Jimenez, Hanson or F Molinari, whilst Donald, Casey and Harrington would have been automatic qualifiers. Montgomerie would probably then have picked 3 from Fisher, Rose, Jimenez and F Molinari. To me that looks like the best team. Although again, at least one 'deserving' player would have missed out.
    So perhaps the world rankings would indeed produce a slightly better team? We'd certainly be saying that if Dyson and McGowan had grabbed a spot each. But then if you look further down, Stenson (31) and Karlsson (34) would have been pretty close to getting in on World Ranking, and most people wouldn't have chosen them in the current team.
    It does seem though that a better method would be the one that Iain suggests in his blog - counting the European list first. That would seem to produce a better team, at least it would have this year. I personally would still rather have Rose and Casey instead of Hanson (definitely) and Jimenez (only just).
    But as others have said, the players knew the system and if it meant enough to them to make the team then they should have made more effort. Notice that Jimenez chose to play the final event rather than attend a family wedding. In the end it didn't matter but it shows how much it meant to him.
    Also note that McDowell's qualification was helped hugely by one big win (US Open). The same could possibly be said for Poulter with his matchplay win. I'm not saying they don't deserve to get in. Not at all. But it shows that one big result in a major can skew things a bit. Van der Velde got in that way in 99 and so did Fulke in 2002 by winning the Accenture Matchplay. Remember too that anyone could lose form or gain form in the next month. Didn't that happen to Lyle one year and he either withdrew or threatened to.
    All that said, I agree with other posters that this is one of the strongest, if not the strongest teams we have had ever. Lets hope we win it!

  • Comment number 99.

    Only 2004 has been won by the away team in recent Ryder Cups so home advantage is important. Therefore, well done Monty for picking players who'll recognise home when they see it. One of the dollar chasers might become the first to play for both sides.

  • Comment number 100.

    Assuming the Molinaris would make a good pair is NOT based on fact and is just lazy analysis...........the World Cup is a second rate tournament and as they represent italy every year and are top drawer players of course it is not a surprise that they won it and might do again...................i doubt if Monty will pait them together the first morning.....maybe the a/noon or Day 2....................

    My 6 pairings based on the team:


    I would play pairs 1,2,4 & 6 on the first morning in the Foursomes in that Order


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