Even though Colin Montgomerie captained the European team to an exhilarating Ryder Cup win on Monday, he is already calling for a change to the 2012 selection process. Montgomerie controversially left off Paul Casey (world No. 7) and Justin Rose (two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, three wins in last Ryder Cup), selecting Luke Donald, Edoardo Molinari and Padraig Harrington instead.
“Having to leave out two players … was the worst day of my professional career,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t want any future captain to have to go through what I went through on that awful evening in Gleneagles. We have to devise a system of getting top players like that into the European team.”
The AP story doesn’t say what that new system would be, only that Montgomerie is part of the European Tour tournament committee that will meet next month to discuss Celtic Manor and look ahead to Medinah. Montgomerie already changed the selection process for this year, adding a third wild card pick.
The Harrington pick was widely panned because his poor form and bad track record in recent Ryder Cups, but European teammates insisted the Irishman was a key cog in the win, and he managed a 2-2 record. Molinari made the team after winning the final European Tour tournament before the wild card selections, and Luke Donald is a Ryder Cup stalwart, improving to 8-2-1 after going 3-1 this past week.
So how do you prevent this situation? The current setup takes players from a European points list and a World points list. Obviously having players representing the European Tour is a staple of the event. Do you eliminate the World points list and allow more captain’s picks? It’ll be interesting to see what the European Tour tournament committee comes up with. It’s certainly a more complicated team-building process than the U.S.
Another interesting quote from the AP story: Montgomerie won’t captain the next team, instead choosing to dedicate his focus toward playing in 2010. He’s played in nine Ryder Cups, but he’s currently ranked 425th in the world.
“I have to refocus on my game after two years of focusing on the way other people are playing,” Montgomerie said. “But I would have to take my game to a new level to make the team again. Even higher than it was in 1997-98, when I was playing my best golf — because since then the standard of golf being played on tour has improved so much.”
I do have to say I enjoyed Montgomerie (and Sergio Garcia for that matter) this past week. Good luck, Monty. You seem to embody everything that is good about the Ryder Cup.
(AP Photo/Jon Super)