Money over Mind – Ryder Cup Decision
This Sunday seeï¿½s the end of all the speculation surrounding who Captain Montgomerie will pick as his wild cards for the upcoming Ryder Cup in October. Up to as many as 10 names are in with a shout of making it to Celtic Manor but do they all deserve it? A few months ago Monty said that if players hadnï¿½t qualified, he expected to see them at Gleneagles for the Johnnie Walker Championship as this would be there last chance to make the team. To be fair most are going to be there, some have even changed their scheduleï¿½s to tee it up in Scotland but on the other hand some havenï¿½t. The oneï¿½s in question: Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Justin Rose have all decided to stay in the States and play on the PGA Tour in the FED-Ex Cup play-off race. Their decision to chase the big bucks rather than European points has angered many but the players are sticking to their schedule. Not too long ago Justin Rose said live in an interview that the Ryder Cup was not one of his priorities this season! Do we really want a player who thinks that on our team? Also in an interview Paul Casey stated that he had understood that he should be competing for more points but his schedule was set and he wanted try and play his way into the season ending Tour Championship as he missed it last year through injury. Padraig Harrington has played three times on the European Tour this year, which is surely not good enough commitment wise. And Finally Luke Donald who out of the four has made the most effort after he spent a three week spell in Europe over the summer trying to get enough points to secure his place. How many would I pick? Two out of the four and I know I should be thinking that we should give the players on the European Tour a go, the ones that have played in virtually every event this year, but for me Monty would be a fool not to pick them. So who are they? Luke Donald ï¿½ His three week stay as I mentioned wasnï¿½t just any vacation. Second place at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, followed by a third place at the Welsh Open at none other than Celtic Manor and then a victory in the Madrid Masters. Thatï¿½s first, second and third in three weeks which is incredible consistency. He may not be the longest either but he is very straight and he holes crucial putts when needed which is a must in the Ryder Cup. He will be an excellent foursomeï¿½s partner. Paul Casey ï¿½ He is on the team purely for his Match Play record. It is like no other and on his day Casey can rival the best in the world. He has the ability to birdie every hole on the course if he was hot. Long and straight off the tee and he has pretty good Ryder Cup record to boot collecting 3 ï¿½ points out of a possible 5 over three Ryder Cupï¿½s. So I would leave out Harrington and Rose? Why? Harrington would be in the team purely on merit which isnï¿½t good for anyone. I know you could look back at the likes of Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke when they were picked at the K Club in 2006 and they werenï¿½t playing well at all but Harrington has been pretty poor. A three-time major winner maybe, but one point out of a possible nine at his previous Ryder Cupï¿½s isnï¿½t a record to be desired. And Justin Rose, a great season on the PGA Tour his best so far in an arduous career but for someone to say that the Ryder Cup is not a priority would ring alarm bells for me. So my final pick. It goes to a man whose career has had blossomed over the past two years. Having dominated the Challenge Tour last year, he won the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond this year, came 5th at the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor, cutï¿½s made in every major this season , 6th on the world points list, in the worldï¿½s top 25, at Gleneagles competing this week, won the World Cup with his brother. Need I say more? Edoardo Molinari is an absolute must to be on the team for me? Who would be your picks if you were at the helm? All the talking ends on Sunday. Adam Smith Bunker World Editor
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