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Monty's quandary is so unnecessary

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Iain Carter | 15:47 UK time, Wednesday, 25 August 2010

While Corey Pavin says he is going to enjoy the process of deciding his Ryder Cup wildcard picks, it is hard to imagine his European opposite number feeling the same.

Colin Montgomerie is in an impossible position as he considers the three players he will select to complete Europe's 12-man team to take on the United States at Celtic Manor at the beginning of October.

The Scot's predicament is somewhat of his own making, while the politics of the European game and the indifference of some of the continent's leading players are also to blame.

Four of the five leading candidates for Europe's wildcard places are competing in the first FedEx Cup play-off tournament in New York, with three of the FedEx Four having passed up the chance of fighting for an automatic Ryder Cup slot in the final qualifying event here at Gleneagles.

With a decent display in Scotland this week, Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald could have made it into the side without needing a captain's pick. Justin Rose's chances were gone but he is a realistic contender for winning the US money list.

And then there's Scottish Open champion Eduardo Molinari, who has done everything asked of him by Europe's skipper in terms of tournament entries and has climbed a place above Rose to 21st in the world rankings.

The Italian is here at Gleneagles and rightly believes he is deserving of a pick. Furthermore if Europe's selection process had been more sensible he would still have had the chance of an automatic spot.

But to give Montgomerie the third wildcard selection he craved, the tournament committee reduced the number of players coming from the world ranking points list from five to four. Molinari would go to fifth on that list were he to win the Johnnie Walker Championship here.

Donald currently occupies that spot and were he to remain there logic says he must make the team. Monty surely didn't want his extra selection option to be able to drop the world number 10, did he?

Furthermore, consider the effort Donald made to secure a place by coming over to Europe in the spring, playing the Wales Open - where he finished third, a week after winning the Madrid Masters.

He's a natural partner for Casey too. They won the World Cup together in 2004 and Donald's brother Christian carries Casey's bag.

So I would argue Donald has the strongest claim of the stay-aways. Casey's head-to-head record (2006 World Matchplay champion and back-to-back finals in the WGC Matchplay) makes him a strong candidate too.

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But he was a wildcard two years ago and managed just two halves in three appearances at Valhalla. And should Casey have been more supportive of the Tour having been a recipient of a captain's pick?

Monty instinctively would consider making that a factor judging by the way the skipper castigated the other selection in 2008, Ian Poulter, for not showing up at last year's Vivendi Trophy.

On the other hand the captain has always been a great admirer of Casey's game and the odds suggest a pick for the Englishman.

Rose's greatest strength, aside from his success in the US this season, is his relationship with Poulter and they are a natural pairing. They won two out of three of the matches they played together two years ago and are firm friends.

So on that basis, Monty goes for Donald, Casey and Rose. But that means three-time major winner Harrington and the loyal Molinari missing out.

Harrington hasn't won a Ryder Cup match since 2004 and hasn't had much of a year, but was second at the recent Irish Open. He partnered Monty at Oakland Hills and at the Belfry in 2002.

They go back a long way and the word in the caddie shack (Monty's favourite haunt) is that Europe's leader is looking for experience. That provides a big tick in the Harrington box.

Molinari, on the other hand, would be the perfect partner for his brother Francesco who looks certain to be making his Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor. They're the reigning World Cup winners and would help each other settle in as rookies.

So who do you leave out?

Surely the answer is to select the players the Americans would least like to face. Two years ago the then US captain Paul Azinger felt the need to go out to dinner to celebrate Faldo's omission of Darren Clarke, such was his fear of the Ulsterman's influence.

It is time for Harrington to step into the role of on-course leader. Europe didn't have one last time and they'll need one in Wales, especially as the ideal candidate, Lee Westwood, is likely to be pre-occupied with nursing himself back after injury.

Go for the Irishman - even though he looks vulnerable now - and publicly challenge him to perform that role.

Also go with Donald; his steadiness is much admired in the US and the Americans are also more than aware of how dangerous Casey can be.

Harrington and the two Englishmen are the three players most likely to worry Pavin and his team.

And please don't let Europe get into this position again. If you want to assemble the strongest side, it is wrong to make the leading points-scorers in the world ranking the first to qualify.

Switch the formula and make the leading money-winners on Tour the first five names on the team. Then have the leading five world points-accumulators.

There is no need for more than two picks.

If this was the formula now, the 10 qualifiers would be: Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Poulter from the money list and Donald, Eduardo Molinari, Harrington, Rose and Francesco Molinari from the world points. Casey and AN Other would be the picks.

It is a stronger line-up than the one that will go to Celtic Manor and Monty's week would be nowhere near as fraught.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Top blog, Iain, and, if Montgomerie has an ounce of sense, he would take your picks, although I would still leave out Harrington for either Molinari or Rose. Clearly the 'new' system of three picks has not worked, especially when someone like Hanson gets into the team at the expense of someone on the world list.We are supposed to pick the best European team, not the best team from the European list. Why not just use the world list totally and thereby avoid having one list close before the other?Surely the European Tour is now strong enough to be able to survive without trying to force all Europeans to play on it? Fairly controversial, I know, but let's hope that Montgomery has is brain firmly in is head, when he announces his decision.

  • Comment number 2.

    It is really quite simple. You do not choose any of the 'absentees' as all of them prefer to chase the dollars that none of them need, rather than come to the UK and earn their place. They don't care enough and/or they have reason to be presumptious about their place in the team. There are no certainties in golf - you cannot choose a certain single winner on the day - let alone a winning team - and I believe that players like the Molinari brothers and that delightful Spaniard, Jimenez - who have tried everything to make the team - should be in it! To hell with the Fedex Cup and it's dollars! Let's choose the players really do want to participate.

    Mind you - having said that, it is all too academic, as Europe is going to lose - and lose heavily, anyway! Adde to which, Montgomerie does NOT inspire as a captain thus far!

  • Comment number 3.

    Surely next Ryder cup the system will get switched around.....if they dnt then the european tour jus being stubborn. About the guys going to America to play the fed ex cup...its not just a dollar or 2....the winner of the fed ex cup does win $10 million. Except for Mickelson and Tiger that does change their bank balances a bit! Anyway as for the picks I think it will be Casey, Rose, and Molinari.

  • Comment number 4.

    Carl Pettersson seems to win on the PGA Tour during the run-up to the Ryder Cup on a regular basis (2006, 2008 and the Canadian Open in 2010, during which he just missed out on a 59) so why is he not often discussed? I remember suggesting him here two years ago. The argument is somewhat weaker now as this Ryder Cup will be in Europe, where he doesn't often play, but I think he should at least be in the discussion. The PGA Tour is where the world's best golfers play and he has won there more often than any of the rest of those under consideration (excepting Harrington's Opens), including a win just one month ago.

  • Comment number 5.

    Cant see what all the fuss is about. The number of picks was extended for such a situation and now Monty gets to pick 3 quality players who didnt qualify and not 2.

    If there were no picks and we lost, the press would call for captains picks. If there were 4 picks and we lost the press would call for more qualifiers. The answer - make sure you win.

  • Comment number 6.

    Poor old Colin, has to pick three golfers.

    I don't know how he copes with the pressure.

  • Comment number 7.

    Poor old Colin, has to pick three golfers.

    I don't know how he copes with the pressure.

    ----------------------------

    Brilliant!

  • Comment number 8.

    Poor old Colin, has to pick three golfers.

    I don't know how he copes with the pressure.

    ------------------------

    Brilliant!

  • Comment number 9.

    Probably Ian's worst-ever blog! I normally like them but this was sooooo off the mark.

    It's all about commitment and will to win.

    On that basis, Monty should take the hint from Jimenez and tell the "I'm wonderful pick me anyway" brigade where to go. There are several European Tour players with the ability, current form, and commitment to make the excellent 9 into a very successful 12, without pandering to Rose (3 good results but what an attitude ...), Harrington (who is well and truly off the boil), Donald (one of my absolute favourite players, by the way, but would I bet the farm on him in a pressure situation - nope), and Casey (well, he might squeeze in at number 12).

  • Comment number 10.

    I would like to echo previous statements about desire. Anyone NOT wanting to qualify automatically should be immediately excluded from any wild card entry. Golf is a game of microns and I would sooner see someone there slice in to the water having earned his place than someone do the same having lucked in because of a good relationship with Monty at the 19th.

  • Comment number 11.

    @ Caliyorkia - "The PGA Tour is where the world's best golfers play..."

    What do Graeme McDowell, Louis Ouishuizen and Martin Kaymer have in common?

    Well, none of them is (or was a couple of weeks ago) a member of the PGA Tour.

    And there's something else...what is it? (racks brains)...

    Ah! I remember!

    They have all won Major championships this year. Furthermore, Lee Westwood has had a few stand-out performances in the Majors, too - and he isn't a PGA Tour member either.

    I've said before, Ian, and I didn't notice you pick up on it - the reason the names mentioned aren't playing Gleneagles this week is TAX. (That isn't an excuse for missing the Czech Open but the current rules are a good reason for minimising exposure to the UK's tax authorities, if they can).

  • Comment number 12.

    Rose, Casey and Molinari. Harrington is woeful these days.

  • Comment number 13.

    Agree 100% Iain. But you could have gone on to note my earlier comment that he'd be foolish not to "pick" the 5th man in World points (Donald now but it could be Eddie M) just in case Westwood's a non-starter. In that case, he'd want to go for another wildcard and not be bound to take the 5th World points man, who'd already be in. Donald should be in the team, Molinari would have earned a rightful place.

    #4 Cal: I don't believe Pettersson is a European Tour member; he hasn't lived in Europe since his mid-teens. Regardless, Would he really be a better option than Justin Rose, who seems destined to miss out? (Poulter's in rotten form and Rose would be unlikely to pull him out of his stupor - plus Poulter's also had success partnering McDowell, and not just in the RC.)

  • Comment number 14.

    Here is an analogy... many of the world's best footballers play in England because they can make more money in England than in their home countries. Should that have been held against them when the squads for the World Cup were chosen? I don't think so and I don't think PGA Tour players should be criticized for playing in the climax to their season. It is unfortunate that the first round of the play-offs clashes with Gleneagles but Rose et al. would be crazy to potentially miss four of the biggest tournaments of the year in the hope of doing well in a single, regular tournament in Scotland. Monty has to pick the best players and most of them are in the US this week.

    RuariJM: let's see where McDowell, Ouishuizen and Kaymer play next season. And if you want to judge the best Tour, do it over the last decade, not just this year.

    Finally, I would love to see a World Tour for all the best golfers with the current Tours becoming second tier. That would end a lot of arguing!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm not so sure about your picks (or your proposed entry formula). Harrington certainly, Casey for sure, but not Donald. He is not a long hitter and is not an explosive player at all. Rose would be my man. Two wins in the US (let's be honest, the Premier League of golf) tell you all you need to know.
    And it is for that reason, too, that I think the World Points list ought to come first. The European Tour is the Second Division: let's not pretend otherwise.

  • Comment number 16.

    Kwin: I'm sure you're right about Pettersson but he does qualify for Europe. I'm not really strongly arguing for him as a pick but he does have credentials that place him in the same league as Casey, Rose et al. but rarely is mentioned in the same breath. I hope it's not a stoutist issue!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm not so sure about your picks (or your proposed entry formula). Harrington certainly, Casey for sure, but not Donald. He is not a long hitter and is not an explosive player at all. Rose would be my man. Two wins in the US (let's be honest, the Premier League of golf) tell you all you need to know.
    And it is for that reason, too, that I think the World Points list ought to come first. The European Tour is the Second Division: let's not pretend otherwise.

  • Comment number 18.

    Harrington seems not to be a Ryder Cup performer or indeed a Ryder Cup enthusiast. I don't hink he deserves to play after his very poor performances in the last two cups. The Ryder Cup needs people who are committed to it, enthused by it, and good team players. My picks on that basis would be Casey, Rose and Molinari, with Donald missing out because he doesn't seem to want to win enough and whilst a good golfer seems to lack the emotional dimension.

    By the way, I don't think you can equate compliance with Montgomery's wishes with commitment to the Ryder cup, enthusiasm for a team event, or determination to win. Montgomery was voted captain, not king, and he doesn't have the right to dictate his candidates' calendars. Maybe a captain with different abilities to get what he wants from others could have avoided painting himself into a corner on this? Don't make selection for the Ryder Cup a reward for blind compliance.

  • Comment number 19.

    Effectively the world Points list is redundant this time as the qualifiers from that list would also qualify from the European list. I think we need another way of selecting the players which allows players to play wherever they want in the world (which is their right as individuals) and let their ability and form show the captain why they should be in the team. I think the qualifiers should be those players who earn the most World ranking points since the start of the year of the Ryder Cup plus 2 picks by the captain (to allow for injuries etc.).

    this system would have the following Top 10 as of now:

    Lee Westwood
    Martin Kaymer
    Rory McIlroy
    Luke Donald
    Graeme McDowell
    Justin Rose
    Paul Casey
    Edoardo Molinari
    Miguel Angel Jimenez
    Ian Poulter

    The next 4 in order are:

    Robert Karlsson
    Alvaro Quiro
    Peter Hanson
    Rhys Davies

    all of whom could potentially play their way in with a good performance this week.

    This would give a well-balanced team of European Tour stalwarts and US Tour players and would mean that recent formn would be the main determining factor.

  • Comment number 20.

    I doubt very much if Montygomery has the character to omit Harrington, who - let's face it, is not playing well and does not perform well in the Ryder Cup. And have we all forgotten about Bernard Langer who having just won two senior majors is probably playing the finest golf of his life (arguably). What a great asset he would be as an on course and locker room leader! Monty is making heavy weather of it though because he loves the limelight and when this is over, we'll probably never hear of or from him again. Whilst I wish them well at Celtic Manor, I think the yanks will be too strong.

  • Comment number 21.

    I disagree with considering Bernhard Langer just because he's playing well on the Senior Tour. You have to take into account the standard of the opposition and the Senior Tour is not the highest standard, even if it has some former greats in the ranks.

  • Comment number 22.

    I agree with Give Me A Break - the current system hasn't worked as top 4 on the World list are the top 4 on the Euro list. The World Ranking points earned during the calendar year to date has to be the best way to do it moving forwards; whilst there is something undeniably honourable & moral about discarding the 'stay-aways' it harks back to the days of old and you could imagine it in the amateur game perhaps, but nowadays the RC is mass market & for the good of the game in Europe we have to take our strongest possible team & put scruples aside. If similar happened in rugby or cricket it would be blamed on 'the blazers' at HQ interefering in team selection/politics, lets not go the same way.

    As an aside kwini I believe is correct about Carl Pettersson; he left the UK for the US at about 16, I used to play with him in those days & he could spin the ball far more than any of us... never mind what he shot!! :-)

  • Comment number 23.

    Im in agreement with a few of the posters on here, simply on the basis that it is clear to us that what is of paramount importance, is that by however method, the BEST 12 players need to be "able" to be selected.

    I congratulate Mr Hanson on his victory in the Czech Open but lets be honest with ourselves and say that he is not one of the best 12 European players. I think that whatever method is employed, the best 12 players HAVE to play. The World list should definitely be counted ahead of the European List. You say Monty askign for the 3rd wildcard pick is the route of his problems here - absolute tosh! Im sure he would like a 4th or a 5th!

    Although what would be even more useful perhaps, is a "veto" option! Where Monty or another skipper can elect to not pick, an automatic qualifier such as Hanson!! (Not a completely serious suggestion)

    Having said that, I wouldn't take Harrington.

    Ryder Cup is not normal golf and there are many more factors to consider when making selections, beyond "who is in the best form". Ryder Cup is "Big Time" golf, where the pressure is immense and the team environment means that experienced leaders on course can make the difference.

    Harrington has been very poor all season though, and his decision to play in the US shows that he perhaps does not want the "leader" mantle in the team, and on these two counts, Id leave him at home.

    Casey, Ed Moli and Donald for me!

  • Comment number 24.

    RE post number 19, this is the Ryder Cup, form is obviously important, but Ryder Cup golf goes way beyond form/achievements as an individual....Monty as a player being a prime example, Ryder Cup performance requires character as much as anything

  • Comment number 25.

    "24. At 08:39am on 26 Aug 2010, TeniPurist wrote:
    RE post number 19, this is the Ryder Cup, form is obviously important, but Ryder Cup golf goes way beyond form/achievements as an individual....Monty as a player being a prime example, Ryder Cup performance requires character as much as anything"

    I'm not sure whether you agree with my idea or not! I didn't say form was the only factor, but it has to be high on the list. Look at the top 10 now vs. my list and tell me which looks stronger and to have more character.

  • Comment number 26.

    Give me a break! The 'intimidation factor' alone, having Bernhard Langer lined up with Kaymer for instance - would surely be a two hole start in a foursomes or fourball match for Europe. As for the standard of golf played. Langer regularly aquits himself well when he plays alongside the so called 'better players' and his tenacity and fitness would or could never be doubted. It may not happen but it is in my opinion a great option and one that should be considered.

  • Comment number 27.

    I think Harrington will go due to experience. Even if he doesn't play one of the days (however his form could pick up). Although with Clarke and Mc Ginley hovering around the team will there be a need for him?

    I'd also think Molinari should go as a statement more than anything (although he clearly deserves a place). Harrington,Casey, Donald and Rose are all very well off boys. I can understand the Fed Ex as its huge money and also not playing in the UK with this ridiculous tax on sportspeople, but over the last 12 months they have had plenty of chances to fit in a few tournaments around Europe.

  • Comment number 28.

    boscoman, I'm not convinced that just because 2 players are from the same country it's worth a 2 hole start, otherwise the US would win most matches! we don't even know if they could play together properly as they haven't, to my knowledge, played competitively as pairs before. I think the biggest factors are whether they get on together, and do their games complement each other. Anyway Langer will not be selected, and rightly in my opinion, but you are entitled to your view.

  • Comment number 29.

    Let's throw another spanner in the works. What happens if on Sunday Jiminez has been unfortunately edged out of automatic selection? Surely he deserves to be picked before any of these 'stay aways'?

  • Comment number 30.

    "29. At 09:11am on 26 Aug 2010, boscoman wrote:
    Let's throw another spanner in the works. What happens if on Sunday Jiminez has been unfortunately edged out of automatic selection? Surely he deserves to be picked before any of these 'stay aways'?"

    Now that I DO agree with.

  • Comment number 31.

    I agree with RuariJM. The Inland Revenue's policy of taxing overseas sports stars in the UK on their global endorsement income is undermining their ability to stage top-quality events. This is not just a golf issue, but a problem for all sport held in the UK.
    For instance the four stay away players will already have played in the Open and then, if picked the Ryder cup, then to come to Gleneagles would be a 3rd event. Say they play 20 tournaments, then they are taxed as a percentage on these 3, so taxed on 15% percent of their total income.
    They may be overpaid, but the UK tax laws haven't made this easy.
    The US stars will all also be taxed, for the Ryder Cup, something they aren't paid for.
    So it's slightly unfair to label them as money grabbers, when it would cost them to play, win or lose.
    Personal, I'd pick Rose, Casey & Donald...

  • Comment number 32.

    There's an old saying: 'it it ain't broke don't fix it'

    Following years of success, Europe panicked when USA won the 2008 event, introducing 3 captain's picks, to respond to changes in the American system when, realistically, there was no need to change.

    Qualification criteria was established thereafter &, just like Dustin Johnston, in recent US PGA, all players were aware of what they had to do to qualify - either via Euro Tour or World Ranking route - so no point in challenging now....

    As I mentioned in a previous post, if Sam Ryder had still been around, I would suggest that E Molinari, A Quiros & a couple of other mainland Europe based players would get the nod, ahead of so called USA based 'superstars'. Similarly, the whole point of captain's picks is to allow for exceptional circumstances: thus suggestion re Langer is not unrealistic, as he clearly wouldn't qualify from Tour or World route.

    Bottom line, this is a business - Montgomerie will not challenge the status quo & will, unfortunately, be influenced by sponsors - existing & potential - agents, manufacturers etc. It's unfortunate but the Ryder Cup has become a closed shop - usual suspects will be there....., resulting in the exclusion of other, worthier, candidates.

    Finally, Peter Hanson is currently in on merit - congrats & well done to him. It's an insult to suggest that he would not be as effective as some of the other candidates. NB: think back to Rose's meltdown earlier this year, when cruising, on PGA Tour....






  • Comment number 33.

    golfer54, makes the following point:

    Finally, Peter Hanson is currently in on merit - congrats & well done to him. It's an insult to suggest that he would not be as effective as some of the other candidates. NB: think back to Rose's meltdown earlier this year, when cruising, on PGA Tour....

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What the poster omits to mention is that at the previous tournament Rose WON, and at the following tournament he also WON.

    Which puts rather a different spin on the posters comment.

  • Comment number 34.

    golfer54, I'm afraid I disagree with everything you say.

  • Comment number 35.

    Give me a break! I did say 'for instance' when I suggested Kaymer with Langer. It could as easily have been Westwood or one of the others. Country has nothing whatever to do with it. Langer as the older more experienced player would be a huge influence for the good on any partner. Of course I'm entitled to my opinion as are all the others who contribute here. I'm not going to get into the 'he said - she said' type of discussion with you but I would ask you to get back on here after the Ryder Cup has finished and tell me honestly that perhaps Langer would have been a terrific 'pick'. Another point that hasn't been made either is one which may have more serious consequences. Can we expect Westwood to be firing on all cylinders? Should he not say now that he wouldn't be 'golf fit' to participate in such a pressure cooker tournament? Yes, he is leading qualifier but I personally don't believe that he will be ready. Is Montgomery willing to take a chance on him? There are a host of terrific golfers just outside automatic spots who are champing at the bit (not including Langer)

  • Comment number 36.

    boscoman, unfortunately we will never know the answer to this question, so we should probably just leave it there. Just a thought, though, if we're talking about experience would Clarke not be a better pick than Langer? He's competing, and playing reasonably well, on the European Tour and would make a perfect partner for any of the rookies, and of course Lee Westwood (his great friend).

  • Comment number 37.

    I know that captains love the picks etc and it adds something to it, but it can also lead to a big debate such as this. In reality the players that will be picked (i think he will pick Donald) are likely to have been selected by rankings or recent performance. what about a system where:

    8 Automatics get in based on world ranking points earned (i don't care where they earn them) since the last Ryder cup.

    Then the next four on the list are considered and the 2 with the best ryder cup record get in, if none of them have ryder cup experience then it will go to World ranking points since the start of the year.

    Then all remaining European golfers are considered based on their ranking points earned since the start of the RC year.

    What the above system would do is give preference to solid performaers in the last year as automatics, then give preference to those with RC experience, but still in for and then allow for those in form at the moment to get in.

    Not sure where to start on working that one out, but think that would put the three major winners in there for certain? Anyone able to work out what the list would look like if the above system was used?

  • Comment number 38.

    Poulter is a good competitor, but his on course behaviour and negative on course comments puts me off him for the moment. Change of caddy needed.

    Harrington never were and never will be a team player. He is not playing well and he is not going to turn it around. He's ryder cup record is shocking for a 3 time major winner.

    Casey, is a good match play player and I would select him. With him Eduardo and Alvaro, (Remember the success Bubba and JB had in the previous RC). Length of the tee is intimidating in Match Play and breaks the Rythm of competitors. BUT if Jimenez does not qualify automatically, he has to go.

    Luke will be a good Foursome player, partnered with McDowell.

  • Comment number 39.

    Also actually, i think that some people are looking at this the wrong way! The majority of the American RC team will be competing in America, if one, or all of the euro boys can give a good showing and perhaps sneak a win, that will be a kind of: We came here and beat you, see you in two months time on our turf!

    Surely the 'stay-away boys' would be straight into RC team if they can finish say top 10 against a feild of our soon to be rivals?

  • Comment number 40.

    andslor, does that not just mean you take the top 12 from the 2010 world ranking points list? In which case your team would be:

    Lee Westwood
    Martin Kaymer
    Rory McIlroy
    Luke Donald
    Graeme McDowell
    Justin Rose
    Paul Casey
    Edoardo Molinari
    Miguel Angel Jimenez
    Ian Poulter
    Robert Karlsson
    Alvaro Quiros

  • Comment number 41.

    I don't agree that we have to pick the best 12 twelve players, we have to pick the best TEAM. That means picking the right mix. The Molinaris play well together, Langer plays well with anyone (but should be a good option for Kaymer) and Rose plays well with Poulter. In fact, my shoe-in for the team has been Langer for some time now, that guy is nerveless.

    In singles, Langer and Rose will be fine, not sure about E. Molinari but can't see Eduardo having a worse singles record than Casey, Harrington or Donald and Eduardo will definitely contribute more in foursomes/fourballs.

    I'm not sure there is that much between Rose/Casey/Donald but suggest that only one shoud be picked. I am a BIG Casey and Donald fan and really like the fact that Donald came back to Europe to try and cement his place in the team. But but now all three have effectively ruled themselves out of automatic picks, the make-up of the TEAM functions better with Langer, Molinari one of the three Englishmen. I'd go for Rose, but only just.

  • Comment number 42.

    The whole experience factor can be massively overdone - especially these days, with such strong options in Europe. Harrington's 'experience' is of going into the Ryder Cup as the star man, and performing pretty poorly; in what universe is that a basis for granting him a place in the team? His inclusion is the biggest threat to European to success.

  • Comment number 43.

    GoonerTTC. Harrington talks similarly about your 'english'. "Harrington never (were)" ??? "(He's) ryder cup record" Harrington was (or is that were?) the backbone of the Walker Cup team as an amateur and won the World Cup with McGinley, so how you can make such a statement is beyond me. I do agree with you about Poulter - too much twittering etc.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm not sure where this groundswell for Langer came from but seriously it's just not going to happen. Senior major victories are not going to convince Monty to pick him. However much I agree he could do a good job for the team, and he has bucket-loads of experience (as captain too), he is simply not even on the radar. I'd eat my 5-iron if he was picked.

  • Comment number 45.

    Another (constructive) suggestion:

    One captain's pick per Player/per career i.e. bit like 'once only moneylist exemption'.... for those who don't retain Tour cards.

    Recognises injury, loss of form, finding form @ last minute etc - if you are that good you shouldn't need two or more wildcards - even Monty, Westwod & Clarke have all had one. Shouldn't be a reward for failure & entry into what has become a closed shop...

    Mmm - haven't Donald & Casey already had one.... but, wait a minute, they are English.... & we couldn't possibly regain the Cup without them. I can just see Bubba or Dustin quaking in their Footjoys @ the thought of Donald ripping one past them......

  • Comment number 46.

    Heres my system for what its worth:

    Pick 9 players from the World pts list with the proviso that they are in the Top 20 of the Money list:
    Team: Westwood, Kaymer, McIlroy, McDowell, Donald, E.Molinari, Poulter, Harrington, F.Molinari.
    That is 1-8 and 10th on the World pts who are all in the Top 20 money. J. Rose(9th)but 69th in Euro list misses out............
    3 wild cards then with less headaches for Monty...........

  • Comment number 47.

    "46. At 11:29am on 26 Aug 2010, John Cregan wrote:
    Heres my system for what its worth:

    Pick 9 players from the World pts list with the proviso that they are in the Top 20 of the Money list:
    Team: Westwood, Kaymer, McIlroy, McDowell, Donald, E.Molinari, Poulter, Harrington, F.Molinari.
    That is 1-8 and 10th on the World pts who are all in the Top 20 money. J. Rose(9th)but 69th in Euro list misses out............
    3 wild cards then with less headaches for Monty..........."


    Why on earth should Rose miss out??

  • Comment number 48.

    that seems decent to me John Cregan!

  • Comment number 49.

    I thought he meant just on automatic?

  • Comment number 50.

    I still think my idea from #19 is the simplest and most effective solution. No tricks, and easy to see where you stand and what you need to do without forcing players to play particular tournaments.

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi"Give me a Break!"
    The system i proposed would give you the best "World players" while they would have to do their stuff in Eorope(hence they have to be in the Top 20 Euro money list). The Euro Tour are never going to allow a system with no reference to the Euro Money list.............

    I've nothing against Rose and under this system, he could obviously get a wild Card.

  • Comment number 52.

    John, the bit I disagree with is "would have to do their stuff in Europe". I really don't see why European Ryder Cup players should have to change their career path if they choose to base themselves in the US. As I have said before in other posts it's a team of European players (based on passports or country represented at least) not a team representing the European Tour (or else we could get Ernie Els in the side). Although the ET seems to have hijacked the competition over the years.

  • Comment number 53.

    In addition I would change the selection system to

    Top 4 World List
    Top 4 European Tour
    Top 2 from points earned, by place, not money received over the last 10 events on the european tour before the selection date. Each tournament counting progresively more for places than the previous, trying to capture the "in-form" players. If you are commited to the team, you will have to come and play your golf in Europe, and you have to take this in account before you commit to tournaments elsewhere during this period. In any case, this period will be involving those tournaments from the open to the end of August.
    2Captain's picks.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi "Give me a break",
    I agree with you. I'm saying that the powers that be are never going to take the "Euro money" element out of it. Especially when the US Tour give no Ryder cup points for US players playing events in Europe.
    Yours is a good system, although i would bring it back to September to give them a full years worth of qualifcation

  • Comment number 55.

    Boscoman, I gave you the reasons for leaving out Harington. His Ryder Cup record is poor (8.5 points from 21, when Europe has won 3 of the 5 he has played in) and he is not playing well. Why should he be concidered. His putter has gone cold, and that is that. My apologies for the bad English, how good is your Swedish/Afrikaans/German?. You are probly the guy chastising the juniors for having their hat on in the club house :-) It is really important, isn't it?

    As for the team player, it is only my opinion. By your reasoning, Faldo must be a great team player? Succesfull Ryder Cup Player, World Cup winner, ADC winner and the list goes on. My comment was in reply to those above stating that he should be included as he will be "a leader off the course". I can not see that.

  • Comment number 56.

    I think some of you are getting caught up with this being

    European Tour v US Tour

    The whole Ethos of the Ryder Cup is The best European players v the best US players .

    I think we need to realise that many of our best European players play in the US and have their lives there now with young families etc . We would have been delighted to have this representation on the PGA tour a few years ago.
    Somehow we need to accept this change in the golfing world and find a more realistic qualification process . Either that or we just go with 12 picks each . At the end of the day the manager picks the team in all other major sports regardless of form .

  • Comment number 57.

    I think some of you are getting caught up with this being
    European Tour v US Tour
    The whole Ethos of the Ryder Cup is The best European players v the best US players .
    I think we need to realise that many of our best European players play in the US and have their lives there now with young families etc . We would have been delighted to have this representation on the PGA tour a few years ago.
    Somehow we need to accept this change in the golfing world and find a more realistic qualification process . Either that or we just go with 12 picks each . At the end of the day the manager picks the team in all other major sports regardless of form .

  • Comment number 58.

  • Comment number 59.

    spot on, CotslandswickCrusader

  • Comment number 60.

    Interesting. I wonder what the England 11 would have looked like in South Africa based on OPTA stats for last season! Anyone know?

  • Comment number 61.

    6. At 9:02pm on 25 Aug 2010, Spaced Invader wrote:
    Poor old Colin, has to pick three golfers.

    I don't know how he copes with the pressure.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Well said! I bet the 400 poor sods that just lost their jobs in RBS would be able to tell Monty a thing or two about pressure.

  • Comment number 62.

    #6 - Spaced Invader wrote:
    Poor old Colin, has to pick three golfers.

    I don't know how he copes with the pressure.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Well said! I bet the 400 poor sods that just lost their jobs in RBS would be able to tell Monty a thing or two about pressure.

  • Comment number 63.

    #6 - Spaced Invader wrote:
    Poor old Colin, has to pick three golfers.

    I don't know how he copes with the pressure.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Well said! I bet the 400 poor sods that just lost their jobs in RBS would be able to tell Monty a thing or two about pressure.

  • Comment number 64.

    Harrington even being considered is ludicrous. Spraying balls all over the place off the tee makes him an instant liability, not to mention his numerous brain freezes when in contention.
    Donald, Rose & Molinari would represent the best picks.

  • Comment number 65.

    Sorry for the multiple posts, I do know how to work a computer and don't have oven gloves on.

    The system seems to crash when you click post comment and It did not show the post was successful so I tried it another couple of times......

  • Comment number 66.

    Sorry GoonerTTC, did I hit a nerve or have you just sliced your 5 iron whilst you were tweeting on course? You are indeed very correct, I am and always will be an 'etiquette' and 'apply the rules' man. I don't play golf anymore as I got sick a few years back, stopped and never took it up again. Was a reasonable golfer I think, having started at 28 years old (1st handicap 12), got down to six and stayed in single figures for almost 30 years. Always found the rules worked for me because I took the time to learn them and as in life, trying to behave in a reasonable manner seemed to work for me. What would you have the 'juniors' do, take example from Poulter? Nearly five years on with no golf, I do miss it and like the banter but never will get into the Chris Evans 'school of golf'. I'd rather take up tiddlywinks. Have a good weekend. No swearing now, ya hear!

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    YOU ARE ALL INCONSIDERATE SWINE. IT PAINS ME TO THINK THAT YOU COULD HAVE STARTED A BLOG WITHOUT ANY CONSIDERATION FOR MY PRESENCE. BUT NO MATTER, I AM HERE NOW AND WILL PARTICIPATE. AS YOU WILL APPRECIATE, MY OPINION HOLDS MORE WEIGHT THAN ANY OTHERS' ON THIS BLOG SO IF I CHOOSE TO TARGET YOU SPECIFICALLY DO NOT ANSWER. I SHALL START WITH YOU BOSCOMAN. HOW DARE YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE A GOOD GOLFER. I ALTHOUGH HAVING NEVER OBSERVED YOU PLAY RESERVE SUCH COMPLIMENTARY ADJECTIVES FOR ME ALONE AND URGE ALL ON THIS BLOG TO DO SO.

    I SHALL ALLOW THIS LITTLE "EPISODE" TO PASS BUT DO NOT REPEAT THIS MISTAKE

    CRUSADER BALLSIO

  • Comment number 69.

    Harrington is, and has been for some considerable time, struggling to claim even 3rd place in the Irish golfing hierarchy, so that's an easy decision for Monty. Beside, apart from not supporting the European tour generally, he has voted not to try and claim a place by passing on this week's Johnny Walker tournament. His apathy shouldn't be rewarded.

  • Comment number 70.

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  • Comment number 71.

    mr waternoose is most pleased at seeing his dominance thrive and soon my steamy goodness shall cover the whole empire of crusader ballsio, not only that but be warned everyone on my blog from now on shall only write in reference to my brilliance or my steamy fragrance of the raging puppies i possess which soon shall be ferociously unleashed and soon the whole world shall be submerged in a waternoose fog. i adore the current craze of waternoose and i will not bow to this ranger from the north.

    you have been classic waternoosed

  • Comment number 72.

    Hi guys most of these comments are so anti Harrington why? What has he to prove, he has to be without fail at the Ryder cup. Comments like he is not playing well is a joke, if it comes down to the last match on Sunday who do you want there? Who can handle the pressure? Casey NO, Donald NO, Molinari NO, Rose NO, Its Harrington every day of the week and the Yanks respect him and they fear him and rightly so.

  • Comment number 73.

    We all know Monty will bottle the tough decision and he will take Harrington, Donald and Casey. He's too much of an old woman to have to tell either of those three they haven't made it. Rose has a bad attitude so I wouldn't take him and I'm sure Monty wouldn't mind telling him he hasn't made it. Molinari I think should go - it could be the italian pairing we rely on now that Garcia has dropped away and Olazabal has basically retired.

    The thing with Harrington is that I worry he'll try too hard and therefore make more mistakes; he's played poorly this season, will know his record has been awful in the ryder cups recently and the pressure he places on himself will be too great.

    Think we'll get stuffed to be honest.

  • Comment number 74.

    We all know Monty will bottle the tough decision and he will take Harrington, Donald and Casey. He's too much of an old woman to have to tell either of those three they haven't made it. Rose has a bad attitude so I wouldn't take him and I'm sure Monty wouldn't mind telling him he hasn't made it. Molinari I think should go - it could be the italian pairing we rely on now that Garcia has dropped away and Olazabal has basically retired.

    The thing with Harrington is that I worry he'll try too hard and therefore make more mistakes; he's played poorly this season, will know his record has been awful in the ryder cups recently and the pressure he places on himself will be too great.

    Think we'll get stuffed

  • Comment number 75.

    well, well, its amazing how many of you think who should be on the team and who should be omitted. I think what the RC Committee did to change from 2 picks to 3 was and will be the correct decision. By doing this they have emphasized the importance of playing the European Tour.

    None of the players on the periphery i.e. Casey, Harrington, Donald and Rose have came out and demanded or said that they are the best candidates for a wild card. Only Molinari(today) has came out and stated that he was worthy. any player that has not qualified for the team automatically can really think that they have a right to be there. There is a qualifying system in place and if you don't make the mark then tough. Molinari has had this season to qualify and he hasn't. He had the chance to play on the ET last season and decided to stay on Challenge Tour. He hasn't made the mark and thats that.

    I do however feel that Molinari has a good a chance as famous 4 to gain a wild card.

    Iain saying that Donald was a ready made partner for Casey with Donald'doesn'ts brother on his bag and winning the WC in 04. They did not play together at OH or at the K Club. Nor did Donald pick Paul as his partner in defending the WC in 05.

    It doesn't matter who he picks as we have a plethora to choose from. Lets not forget about Karlsson... He like Molinari missed a lot of the qualifying through injury. Then when he did come back he won, then was forced out for a while with glandular fever.

    Bring on the Yanks!

  • Comment number 76.

    You have not mentioned either Jimenez or Peter Hansen?
    Why not make this 12 captain's picks and be done with it.
    Having 2 sets of criteria dictating who goes gives the captain an out especially if a player who was playing well earlier in the year is struggling come Ryder Cup time.
    12 captain's picks would allow the best 12 on their PRESENT form.

  • Comment number 77.

    Wow, an Iain Carter blog without mentioning Tiger Woods in it.

    Treasure it, for it will be an only child....

    :-)

  • Comment number 78.

    There are 2 very obvious picks:

    Numbers 9 and 10 in the World Rankings - Casey and Donald.

    Donald made some form of effort by playing at Celtic Manor and doing well. He is number 5 on the Ryder world rankings list and very rarely ever has a terrible round, hence should be a certainty for the top 8 Foursomes players in Europe.

    Casey has done well at the last 2 Majors and has a proven matchplay record.

    The other pick should be one of Paddy, Ed Molly and Rose, all very close together in the world rankings but a good way from Donald and Casey.

    I caveat this only if a possible choice won at Gleneagles this weekend, then there is an arguement for giving them the third pick.

    Paddy is a nice bloke, 3 time Major winner and lost of experience. However, you dont pick because of the number of Majors someone has won, nor their experience - why not pick Faldo in that case !

    You pick cos of form over last year to year and a half. Exceptionally you might pick someone if they had an exceptional Ryder Cup record, even if results not great over recent period. Westwood was one such pick 4 years ago.

    Paddy has missed 3 major cuts this year and poor recent Ryder record.

    Rose had a purple patch of a month on the US PGA tour but has fallen off in the last few weeks.Also, his obvious pairing would be Poulter, but he has been poor the last few months and seems to get very angry all the time.

    For consistency and for a World cup winning partnership with his brother, Eddy Molly should get the third spot.

    I would caveat this pick, subject to Rose, Paddy or another one who is close winning either at the FEDex (or leading after the 3rd round) or Gleneagles as that would show real ability to deliver when needed most.

    So it has to be Casey, Donald and Ed Molly !

    But not sure Mont is in a position to handle the flak that will come from Harrington supporters.

  • Comment number 79.

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  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

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  • Comment number 82.

    HAHA PEASANTS. YOU HAVE SEEN A CHANGING OF THE GUARD. I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE NOT A SINGLE HOPE OF UNDERSTANDING THE POWER THAT I AND MY RIVAL WATERNOOSE POSSESS. THINK OF IT AS A CLASH OF THE TITANS IN WHICH WATERNOOSE IS STRIPPED NAKED AND TORMENTED WITH MY BARBARIC JEERS. DO NOT PROTEST WATERNOOSE FOR YOU ARE NOW MY SUBJECT. I AM ANNOUNCING THIS TO ALL ON THE BLOG IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE WATCHED THESE EVENTS UNFOLD WITH MUCH INTEREST. DO NOT FEAR. WATERNOOSE SHALL NOT FURTHER RELEASE HIS FURY ON YOU AS HIS BUTTOCKS ARE FIRMLY WITHIN MY GRASP. THIS HOWEVER ALLOWS ME TO BEGIN MY OWN REIGN OF TERROR BEGINNING WITH CRUSADER BALLSIO'S ORDERS:

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    YOURS TRULY

    CRUSADER BALLSIO

  • Comment number 83.

    It funny jokes that Tiger Woods has good performance after his divorce

  • Comment number 84.

    villians scoundrals highwayman ROADHOG!!this is an outrage
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    grovel with mercy at waternoose and his raging steamy goodness

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  • Comment number 85.

    I completely agree with 12 picks. In what other sport apart from the Olympics perhaps do you need to qualify for a team? The captain\manager in other teams has complete discression over which players to use.

    BTW my team (ignoring of any ranking systems and in particular order):

    Franceso Molinari
    Eduardo Molinari
    Bernhard Langer
    Martin Kaymer
    Lee Westwood
    Rory McIlroy
    Ian Poulter
    Paul Casey
    Luke Donald
    Ross Fisher
    Justin Rose
    Graeme McDowell

    There can be no arguments definitely the best TEAM right there - right now!

  • Comment number 86.

    GoonerTTC I'm not sure what golf you have been watching recently but Harringtons putter gone cold (he is struggling with his driving but his putting!!!)...not a team player (echo Boscomans sentiments there re 3 Walker Cups and World Cup)....Harringtons short game is the best in the European by a mile and most TV commentators/Ex Pros who watch golf on a weekly basis agree with this! I'm all for opinions but your comments are just off the wall! He has had 13 top 10 finishes over the last 12 months which is more than Casey, Donald and Rose. He is a couple of shots off the lead in the Barclays Event in the USA this week - ahead of Donald, Casey and Rose. I would imagine that he will almost certainly be in the top 12 of the combined Euro/world list on Sunday night. Yes he hasn't played as well as he can or expects to this year but the guy has proven himself under pressure at the very biggest tournaments on many occasions so I find it hard to believe that he wouldn't be one of the wild cards.

  • Comment number 87.

    Munsterman you are on the ball 13 top 10 finishes over the last 12 months speaks for its self.At last someone who knows what he is talking about when it comes to Golf.

  • Comment number 88.

    If he his more than three wildcards,there will be no problem now.Ha,just a funny jokes

  • Comment number 89.

    If he has more than three wildcards,there would be no problem.Ha,just a funny jokes

  • Comment number 90.

    Anyone hear Montys interview after his second round?
    He clearly said that Eddie Moninari could play his way into the team by right with a win and therefore not need a wild card.
    Maybe my addition at school was wrong or thats mathematically impossible........................ans surley Monty should know this.......

  • Comment number 91.

    Excellent analysis but the current system is a product of a deliberate bias towards European Tour participation and it is hard to see the European Tour changing its stance. As to wild cards, no rational person would even consider omitting Harrington, Casey is an obvious choice, and the final slot must be between Donald and Rose. Equity would seem to favour Donald, as he lies higher in both lists.

  • Comment number 92.

    Who's going to partner the less experienced Frannie Molinari if his brother doesn't make the team, or will he be given singles only, up against Mickelson?
    At the mo it looks like both the brothers are busy putting the cat among the pigeons at Gleneagles. If Ed wins it and Frannie is clearly inspired to a high-place finish, Monty is going to have to show guts and leave two of the GB&I fringe picks out. Or else he'll have to explain away ignoring Ed, and wasting a big potential asset in the pairs.
    I'd pick Molinari and Donald (did well at Celtic Manor after making the effort to be there), and probably Casey who has a better record in match play. I don't care how many top 10s Harrington has this year, he's usually been a shadow of himself in the RC.

  • Comment number 93.

    90, John Cregan.

    Yes, i heard that interview, Mont's mind is scrambled when he thought Ed Molly would qualify automatically if he won.

    Pick 3 form 5

    Ed Molly - second at Gleneagles - fantastic last couple of months form and the core euro tour players' choice for his effort and form - plus a very obvious strong partnership with his brother.

    Rose - currently second at the FEDEX, having pulled back to make the cut, he is on a sensational run. Been poor last few weeks, excellent a couple of months before that and would be a very obvious strong partnership with Poults.

    Casey - Solid at Fedex, great last 2 majors and a very good matchplay record in world events and Ryder cup. Number 9 in the world.

    Paddy - performing well at Fedex when needed to. 3 time major, popular with Mont and the vice Captains. Form in majors poor, but one of the best scramblers and putters around. Poor recent Ryder Cup record. Strong bottle.

    Donald - never does anything wrong, number 10 in the world, came over to Europe, including Celtic Manor, played very well and has a strong Ryder Cup record.

    There is an argument for any 3 from those 5.

    And what if Dyson wins tomorrow !!!!!!!!!

    Poor Mart cant sleep for the worry.

  • Comment number 94.

    Can anyone tell me why Ed Molinari is spouting off about being extremely disappointed if he isnt selected even if he wins... He cannot and did not gain automatic qualification so he has no reason to complain! Players who dont qualify should remain QUIET. They all had a chance... Molinari knew it was going to be difficult at the start of the season. You cant say you deserve a pick if you havnt made the team automatically.

  • Comment number 95.

    the captain needs more choices not less i would have it 6/6 much better a captain must choose his team not stats

  • Comment number 96.

    I agree with this blog that the difficulty that Monty faces is mostly due to the European Tour's insistance on it's inclusion in the selection process. It's just not necessary any more. The world rankings as they stand would give us a team of:

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

    The only likely change is that F. Molnari will get ahead of Karlsson and HEY PRESTO....The best possible European Team from the World Rankings.

  • Comment number 97.

    Give Me A Break!

    It is silly to rule out Langer because the standard of competition is less on the Seniors Tour. The man is either hitting the ball well or he is not, regardless of who he is against. If he is getting low scores and holing the ball he must be considered just like any other golfer

  • Comment number 98.

    Sportmadgav,
    Agree 100% with you.......................

  • Comment number 99.

    I wouldn't complain if Langer got picked but I tend to think that it's now 3 from 5 - Harrington, Casey, Donald, Rose & Molinari. I think he will go with the first 3 although personally I would go with Rose instead of Donald and you could certainly make a case for Molinari. I think Monty wants more experience however which is why I think he will go with Harrington, Casey & Donald.

  • Comment number 100.

    Colin is incapable of a rational decision. He will flip a coin to decide whom plays. I just hope it does not mean that Harrington plays. Our chances of winning are poor anyway.

 

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