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Montgomerie pulls out of BMW Open

Colin Montgomerie, still hoping to play in next month’s Ryder Cup, has opted out of this week’s BMW International Open in Munich to give his ailing back a chance to recover.

The seven time European Tour No 1 made his decision not to play after seeing a specialist over the weekend.

The 39-year-old Scot’s manager Guy Kinnings says that Montgomerie will decide on his final schedule leading up to the Ryder Cup after further consultations with the specialist.

"He saw doctors in America the week before the USPGA and they confirmed he does not require surger," Kinnings told the Press Association. "They said they did not see it (his injury) as being serious enough for that, although it does cause him pain."

Montgomerie had never planned to play in the European Masters in Switzerland the week after the BMW International Open, but he was hoping to compete in the German Masters and American Express Championships at Mount Juliet in the weeks immediately preceding the Ryder Cup at the Belfry.

Now he’s not so sure.

In fact he is not even sure of being fully fit for the Ryder Cup and European captain Sam Torrance has admitted he has already taken into consideration Montgomerie's injury in making his plans.

Without the injury, Montgomerie, a player Torrance has described as his 'rock', would have been certain to play in all five series of matches, which would amount to 90 holes in three days.

But under the present circumstances, says Torrance who is hoping to retain the veteran Scot’s services, "It might be a bit much for him to play in every match and I might not push him."

Meanwhile Montgomerie, who has been told to lose weight and exercise to try and improve the situation, admits, "I'm not that healthy right now”.

“Every week is a bonus if I do play.

"It's a day-by-day thing and I’ll have to see about it at the end of the year."

"I'm playing as well as I can, but it's very painful.

“I can't play too many holes of golf right now. I have to be careful. I don't play or practice as much, either. I have to build up and peak for tournaments."

The general feeling, if Monty is unable to make the Ryder Cup, is that his replacement should be Justin Rose, now Britain’s highest ranked player on the Volvo Order of Merit – he is fifth behind South Africans Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, Ireland’s third-ranked Padraig Harrington and Spain’s fourth-ranked Sergio Garcia.

But European captain Sam Torrance is sticking to the past and insisting that Luton's Ian Poulter should be the player on stand-by on the strength of the fact that he was next in line among the automatic qualifiers when the Ryder Cup team was picked more than 12 months ago prior to it’s postponement after the horror of September 11.

Winning, it seems, isn’t everything this time – and perhaps just well after all the ugliness of the last Ryder Cup when winning seemed to be everything, regardless of the cost.

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