Ryder Cup: Colin Montgomerie on Paul McGinley's selection dilemma
Last Updated: 02/09/14 11:12am
Former European Ryder Cup skipper Colin Montgomerie admits Paul McGinley faces a difficult decision when he makes his three captain’s picks at lunchtime today.
McGinley has narrowed his selections down to three from Stephen Gallacher, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari and Lee Westwood.
Montgomerie believes there are only four men in contention for a wildcard selection and has been running through the candidates for us.
“Thank god it’s not my decision - Paul has got a job on his hands,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think you’ve got to pick Ian Poulter. I know he’s not performing that well right now and he understands that, but he will get picked, I think that’s 100 per cent.
“He’s the reason why Europe won last time. No question, if it wasn’t for what he did and the way he did it Europe would have lost that Ryder Cup.
“Because of that whole aura around Ian Poulter and the Ryder Cup team he will be playing at Gleneagles.”
Experienced Englishman Lee Westwood is also in the frame for selection and Montgomerie believes his experience could prove to be invaluable.
The course would suit a pick for Lee Westwood, it’s long and Lee hits the ball very well off the tee very straight. The greens aren’t that demanding which is Lee’s weakness if there is one.
“Lee has been a stalwart of our team since he was first introduced in 1997 at Valderrama and he’s played every one and played a very important part in every one.
“The course would suit a pick for Lee Westwood, it’s long and Lee hits the ball very well off the tee very straight. The greens aren’t that demanding which is Lee’s weakness if there is one.
“Therefore you think Lee might get a shot ahead of some others because of the course conditions and his course record over the years and for his locker-room knowhow.
“He’s been there I think eight or nine times already and you would expect Lee to be there but he’s not a dead cert like Ian Poulter is that’s for sure.”
Former World No1 Donald is also in contention for a place in McGinley’s squad.
“Luke’s game has been based primarily on holing seven, eight-foot putts,” Montgomerie said.
“That’s how he got to No 1 in the world. He was the best at that stage in the world getting up and down when he had to.
“Not one of the longest or the straightest off the tee to be honest, but as a competitor someone you’ve got to beat, and a very difficult man to beat.”
Montgomerie believes relative newcomer Gallacher would be a shoe-in for selection if he was more experienced.
“Stephen Gallacher would get picked automatically if he wasn’t a rookie,” he said.
“It’s a very difficult thing to pick a rookie. Can you pick a rookie over the experienced guys we are talking about, the Donalds, the Westwoods of this world?
“His golf game probably deserves it he hits the ball extremely well, one of the best strikers of a golf ball on the European Tour and he’s also Scottish.
“I wish I had Welsh representation in Wales. Paul has been hoping for some Scottish representation in Scotland. It would be great for the home fans of course - great for Scotland.”
When pressed on who his final three would be, Montgomerie said: “I would have to go with Westwood, with Poulter and - I wouldn’t say it’s a risk, he’s playing as well as anyone - Stephen Gallagher.”
Watch confirmation of Paul McGinley's Ryder Cup team from 12:30pm on Tuesday on Sky Sports News HQ and Tom Watson's US wildcard picks at midnight. Coverage of the event proper starts on September 26 on channel 405, our dedicated Sky Sports Ryder Cup channel.