Ryder Cup 2010: Colin Montgomerie Makes His Questionable Captain's Picks

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIAugust 30, 2010

AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 29: Colin Montgomerie, The European Ryder Cup Captain after announcing  his three wild card pick is pictured with his Ryder Cup selection after the final round of The Johnnie Walker Championship at the Gleneagles Hotel and Resort on August 29, 2010 in Auchterarder, Scotland.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Well, if you thought the American Ryder Cup team selection process had some interesting plot lines going on, you haven't seen anything yet.

Captain Colin Montgomerie of the European squad rounded out his 12-man team on Sunday with his three picks. Monty raised some eyebrows with the selections of Padraig Harrington, Edoardo Molinari, and Luke Donald.

Left off the squad were two huge names: Justin Rose, having his best season ever, and Paul Casey. Both players, interestingly enough, play their golf in America, not Europe. If that had anything to do with Monty's decision, he wasn't saying.

Molinari almost forced Monty to pick him by winning the European event on Sunday. Molinari had to birdie the last three holes of the Johnnie Walker to win by a stroke, all in front of the watching eyes of Montgomerie.

And the pick of Donald cannot be questioned. He is 5-1-1 in his Ryder Cup history.

It is the Harrington pick that is the head-scratcher. Paddy has slipped to No. 18 in the world and has not won a golf tournament in over two years.

Montgomerie stubbornly defended his pick by saying how no one on the American squad would want to match up against him. Perhaps someone forgot to tell Monty of Paddy's recent Ryder Cup record. In his last nine matches he is 0-7-2. 

That record hardly strikes fear into the U.S. squad.

The 12 that will represent the Euros are Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington, Edoardo Molinari, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez, and Peter Hanson.

The fact that players like Hanson and Jimenez made the squad outright has put Montgomerie in a tough position. Obviously some good players were going to be left off the team. Still, leaving Casey off may end up being one of the great gaffs of European captains' history.

As if Casey didn't get enough of a slap in face on Sunday (he was playing with Harrington when Padraig found out during the round from his wife that he made the squad, meaning Casey did not), Montgomerie announced that if the injury to Lee Westwood prevented him from playing in the Ryder Cup matches then Justin Rose, and not Paul Casey, would be added to the team.

Casey, the world's No. nine-ranked player, was visibly upset after his round on Sunday.

American captain Corey Pavin chooses his four picks September 7th. Two of the picks seem to be almost set. Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson have all but sewed up the first two spots. The other two picks are still being fought for between several golfers, including Sean O'Hair, Stewart Cink, and senior Fred Couples.