Montgomerie reveals pairings to players
Fabio Capello may favour waiting until the last minute before telling his England footballers who is playing, but that's not a tactic Colin Montgomerie will be following with Europe's golfers at the Ryder Cup.
In fact, Monty is taking the diametrically opposite view. He said he has already told his players who they will be playing with and in which sequence of matches. The skipper has also said he will field all 12 of his side on the opening day of the Celtic Manor clash.
It is an extraordinarily bold and early move that highlights his impatience for the match to begin. "I can't wait now that the team has been selected," he told BBC Sport nine days ahead of the 1 October starting date.
"They understand what is going on during the first day and then we will take stock on the Friday night," Montgomerie said.
The captain says he doesn't want to be a secretive leader and he wants his players to know what is happening wherever possible. But by deciding his line-ups already he has removed the opportunity for them to play themselves into a starting role through practice.
He is not bound by what he has decided so far but it would be more awkward to unravel partnerships should the need arise through any loss of form during the warm-up rounds.
He is also effectively removing the opportunity to experiment with pairings during practice.
So who do we think he has in mind for that opening sequence of fourball matches? Montgomerie says he knows already who will be in the top match that he considers crucial to his side gaining early momentum.
What better way to embolden the Irishman?
"He's ready to stand up to the plate on and off the golf course, I think for the first time," Montgomerie said. "This is his sixth Ryder Cup and I think it is time for him to stand up there."
Harrington has plenty of experience of heading out first and did it twice with Montgomerie in the 2004 and 2006 matches. Donald provides a perfect foil.
Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell seem certain to figure as do Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer - they might be a good bet to be the ones to bring up the rear in that strategically vital anchor position.
The Italian siblings are an obvious and natural partnership that would work well in the foursomes but Edoardo would also be a major asset in the better-ball format in the morning and there is no rule that says he has to play with his brother.
Molinari and Fisher might work very well and the practice rounds may establish whether there is any chemistry there.
And what of Hanson? Would he be best suited to taking his first Ryder Cup strokes in the pressure cooker environment of alternate shots?
These questions and more make it surprising that Monty has already made up his mind.
The captain is champing at the bit, lying awake at night running scenarios through his head of what might happen in Wales next week. But the thought of one of the players he rejected triumphing at this week's Tour Championship is not depriving him of any sleep.
"It would be no embarrassment at all if Paul Casey won the FedEx Cup, it would be a great boost for the European Tour," Montgomerie claimed.
"It just shows our strength in depth. It was just that five into three just wouldn't go," he added, referring to the selection dilemma he faced three weeks ago.
Europe's leader will be in situ at Celtic Manor for more than a week before the Ryder Cup begins, travelling there from Paris (French industrial action permitting) where he has been promoting the Vivendi Cup.
His next objective is to prepare for what he regards as a crucial team meeting next Monday evening. "I've planned it in my mind. I've got the caddies involved, I'm getting the wives involved and the players.
"That will last a long time, that meeting; that's the rallying call to get us up and running and to encourage them to prove to the rest of the world and especially America how good they are."
And you can bet your bottom euro that the talking won't stop there. There is a whole week's worth to come. It will be a blessed relief when the first ball is struck in anger.
Right now we are left to wonder which four players will be on the tee when it happens and it's an extraordinary thought that Monty already knows the identity of the two who will be there in Europe's colours.