Colin Montgomerie warned every European golfer based in the United States, including Rory McIlroy who is planning to make the US his base for the next season, that they risk not making it to the Ryder Cup.
The warning was given by Montgomerie Wednesday, a week before the start of the qualifying race in Switzerland. Montgomeries did the hardest thing he had to do as a captain last year—leave our world number nine Paul Casey. He is hoping that the same dilemma won’t be faced by his successor Jose Maria Olazabal next August.
They will play together on Thursday and Friday during the Johnnie Walker Championship’s first two rounds. Montgomerie said: “No doubt we’ll have a chat on the way round. If you base yourself in America you are taking a risk to make the Ryder Cup team, quite simple.”
While Montgomerie opted for three wild cards, Olazabal opted for only two. Three was not even enough to get Justin Rose or Casey on his side, since Casey lost to Edoardo Molinari who was uncapped.
“I think it surprised us all that a world top-10 player didn’t make it and I do hope that Olazabal doesn’t have that same issue,” Montgomerie said. “I hope it’s more cut and dried for him that it was for me and that the two picks are obvious.”
Montgomerie asked Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington and Rose to fly to Scotland instead but they were all in the States.
“I feel that Olazabal will have a stronger representation of Ryder Cup players next year than I did,” he said. “It’s quite straightforward. If you don’t make the top 10 you might not make the team and you can’t rely on a pick.”