Colin Montgomerie is a Ryder Cup warrior. He holds a truly outstanding record of 20-9-7, which equates to 23.5 points, second only to Nick Faldo in the history of the European Ryder Cup team. In eight different Ryder Cups, Monty has never lost his singles match on the final day.
Two years ago, Colin Montgomerie was left off the Ryder Cup team for the first time in ages. The captain of the Euro squad in 2008 was Nick Faldo. Faldo chose Paul Casey over the veteran Ryder Cupper Montgomerie. Faldo and Montgomerie have always had a cool relationship, and this snub pretty much cemented the poor relationship.
Following the Euros 2008 loss at Valhalla to the Americans, Monty was very critical of captain Faldo, and went as far as hinting that the blame lied with him.
Two years later, and now Monty is the captain. With his first huge act as skipper of the Euro squad, Monty has made his three captain's picks. He chose Edoardo Molinari, Luke Donald, and Padraig Harrington.
He left off two very big names: Justin Rose and, interestingly, Paul Casey. The same Paul Casey that took Monty's Ryder Cup spot two years ago.
Casey, ranked eighth in the world, was devastated by the snub. And, not only did Monty snub Casey in favor of the struggling Padraig Harrington, he also told the world that if Lee Westwood is not able to play due to a nagging injury, Justin Rose, not Paul Casey, would be the replacement.
There is no explanation or excuse Montgomerie could offer that would explain why Paul Casey is not on this team. One could only imagine that personality has somehow influenced this selection.
Monty has every right to make the picks he wants for the reasons he wants. But how he can ever look Paul Casey in the face again is beyond me.
One could argue that Monty has snubbed not only Casey, but Faldo as well. Earlier in the year Faldo was offering his services to Montgomerie as an assistant, and reports were that Monty was ignoring Faldo.
Monty has since added Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, and Sergio Garcia to his team as assistants. No Faldo.
Apparently, Colin is not forgetting 2008 and those who crossed him.
One of the more frustrating aspects to Monty's wild card picks is his refusal to discuss why Casey and Rose were left off the team.
"We would rather talked about the players that have been picked," he has said.
There is some speculation in Great Britain that Casey, who is not the most popular player in the clubhouse, was left off for his lack of popularity as well. Harrington is a much more likable player among the Euros. Casey is a bit of a loner who lives and plays in America and has few friends on the European squad.
The Euro team wants the cup back, and the fact that a few players made the squad that probably would not have warranted picks has got to be a concern for Montgomerie. Players like Peter Hanson, Miquel Angel Jimenez, and Francesco Molinari, by qualifying for the team, have made it difficult for more deserving players. Because of that lack of depth in quality and, to an extent, experience, you would have thought Monty would have jumped at adding Casey.
Harrington has experience too, but that experience is more negative that positive. In his last nine Ryder Cup matches, Harrington is 0-7-2. A grand total of one point. His overall Ryder Cup record is 7-11-3, just 8.5 points in 21 matches. This goes against the logic Montgomerie used when he explained why Harrington made the team, saying how no one would want to face him in match play.
Interesting to note, in addition to Paddy's poor Ryder Cup play lately, he has crashed out of the Accenture Matchplay tournaments as well, going out in the first round each of the last two years. In the two years before that, he made it only as far as the second round. He has not exactly been a great match play player in recent history.
By the way, Paul Casey made it all the way to the finals in both of those Accenture tournaments, and has a World Matchplay title on his resume.
Casey is a guy not many want to play in match play. Luckily for the Americans, they won't have to in Wales come October.