Missing cut lets Monty focus on his team picks
COLIn Montgomerie, the european Ryder Cup captain, will watch the final lap of the race to make his team from outside the ropes after failing to make the cut in the Johnnie Walker Championship at gleneagles.
The scot, who will hold a summit with vice captains Thomas Bjorn, Paul Mcginley and Darren Clarke at his home in Dunning tonight to discuss their three wild card options, fell four short of the mark after a second-round 76 dropped him to three-over.
“There’s other more important things for me, personally, here this week than my own performance,” admitted Montgomerie, the tournament chairman in Perthshire. “I’ll be doing my homework again on saturday so that I am up to speed and then I will be out here on the course on sunday.”
Montgomerie will also be keeping a close eye on events across the atlantic, where four of his wild-card candidates - Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Justin Rose - have been in action in the Barclays Championship.
Harrington was sitting in the top 10 in new Jersey after a second-round 68 and Montgomerie noted: “Padraig, when his back’s to the wall, has done awfully well in the past. so all credit to him for showing some form when he has to. “I was very interested in the way he reacted to taking six at the last (at the Us Pga two weeks ago) to miss the cut by one. Within five minutes of signing his card he was on the range. That says a lot about what he wants to do and wants to achieve.” Of the Ryder Cup contenders in action at gleneagles, Peter Hanson and Miguel angel Jimenez are on course to secure the last two automatic spots, sitting in a share of seventh on sixunder after rounds of 69 and 68.
sitting on the same mark after a 70, englishman simon Dyson is still with a chance of the win he needs to deny either of them, but spaniard alvaro Quiros (71) has his work cut out on one-under. Wild card contender edoardo Molinari (68) is also in the group on six-under.
PAUL Lawrie has pointed to the example being set by Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke as to why he is confident the harmony in the European team room for the forthcoming Ryder Cup won’t be affected by any potential controversy over wild cards.
The former Open champion, who partnered his fellow Scot in four matches at Brookline in 1999, isn’t buying into the theory that Montgomerie, who names his three wild cards tomorrow night, could split his camp at Celtic Manor by snubbing players who’ve gone the extra mile to try and get into the 12- strong team while the likes of Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Justin Rose have been chasing money in the FedEx Cup.
“I don’t think [by not picking any of the players here] that we will lose the camaraderie in the European team. I don’t think we’ll ever lose that,” said Lawrie yesterday at Gleneagles, where he carded a second-round 73 to stand at two-under-par in the Johnnie Walker Championship, an event that saw him finish third 12 months ago.
“When you get there you are all European. The team I played in, in 1999, there were a couple of players that I didn’t get on with and they didn’t get on with
Stephen gallacher is in contention, just two shots off the lead at the Johnnie Walker Championship after a second round of 70.
Scotland’s Marc Warren plays his third shot at the second hole amid the stunning scenery at the Johnnie Walker Championship at gleneagles