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Langer backs Montgomerie to make Ryder Cup

European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer is confident Colin Montgomerie can make his team for September, despite being in the throes of a divorce.

Montgomerie, a talismanic figure for the victorious Europeans in the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry, has focused on domestic matters in recent weeks as he deals with the break-up of his marriage and the care of his three children.

"He's going through a very, very difficult time in his life," Langer said at a news conference at Wentworth Club on Tuesday. "I've seen other guys go through it and most everybody struggles when that happens because it's just hard to block it out.

"I just hope he will be able to block it out to some extent and focus on the golf.

"There's no doubt he's been a fantastic player for a very long time, a great guy to have on the Ryder Cup team and very inspirational. I'd love him to make the team, or be very, very close to it."

Langer, a veteran of 11 Ryder Cups, will add two wildcard selections to complete his 12-man line-up once the 10 automatic qualifiers are known after the BMW International Open in August.

He expects Montgomerie, currently 18th in the overall Ryder Cup standings, to be in the frame.

"I have two picks and if he doesn't make it but is in form, he'll certainly be one of the guys I will consider," the German added. "But there needs to be some kind of sign that he's playing reasonably well, and he has this season.

"He's not that far away from actually being in the team. He's had a number of very good finishes and he's won a tournament (the Singapore Masters in March).

"I don't really see a reason why he shouldn't be there at the end of August."

Overall, Langer is delighted with the way is his team is shaping up for their showdown with the United States at Oakland Hills from September 17 to 19.

"I really like the way it is looking," he said. "Obviously there might be some changes and most likely there will be before the BMW tournament, when the time is up.

"I think it's a very good mixture of experienced guys and a few young guys, and certainly players who have been playing extremely well at the moment, and have been for a few months.

"That's what I like to see as a captain. But there's still lots of prize money and many world rankings points to be played for before then."

Five players will automatically qualify via world rankings points accumulated over a 12-month period ending with the WGC-NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club from August 19-22.

A further five spots will be decided by the five players, not otherwise qualified, who have earned the most European Ryder Cup points by the end of the BMW International Open on August 29.

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