Former Ryder Cup vice-captain Des Smyth defends big names who aren't playing in Seve Trophy
Irishman Des Smyth has defended the big names who have opted out of the Seve Trophy in France.
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey
Last Updated: 07/10/13 12:54pm
A number of Great Britain and Ireland's top names such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell have opted out of the biennial event.
But former Ryder Cup vice-captain and player Smyth insists that you cannot hold it against them.
"That is always the difficult one at this time of year, at the end of a very long season," said Smyth, speaking to Sky Sports at Rockliffe Hall where he is competing in the English Seniors Open.
"A lot of the big players who are high in the world rankings kind of know they are in good shape for the Ryder Cup and they have had a long hard season.
"They will probably watch the Presidents Cup who will be their main opposition and then the guys who are on the Seve Trophy team they are aspiring players to the team and they want to prove how good they are and you could argue one way or another.
"But the schedules are hectic and the players must make decisions because if they want to be up in the world ranking or if they want to make the Ryder Cup next year and be in top shape for it, they have to plan properly."
Smyth believes too much can be read into some players not participating.
"I don't think Henrik Stenson is playing for the Europeans - it hit homes more because of where these guys are ranked," he said.
"But it gives guys an opportunity - you have Sam Torrance captain and Paul McGinley is there and they will be watching these players and have match-ups and the Ryder Cup will be here before we know it and they will learn quite a bit this week."
Smith, who was Ryder Cup vice captain at the K-Club in 1996 - admits he would consider that role again if approached for Glenagles next year.
"If I am offered the job I would be delighted but I have not heard anything," he said.
"I was vice captain under Woosnam in Ireland, and we are delighted that Paul is captain - we were only home nation without one and Paul is very much the right man for the job."
He believes Gleneages is a top choice of venue, and added: "They have been building up to this and they put their markers out a long time ago and it will be a big deal in Scotland as I think it is the most exciting event in golf."