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Colin Montgomerie seeks to change Ryder Cup selection method

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie hinted on Wednesday that he will request a change in Europe’s qualification system for the biennial match with the U.S. next year.

Currently Europe opts for 10 qualifiers and two wild-cards, a system that has been in operation since the 1995 match. However, Montgomerie has always said he would want more control of who plays for him if he were made captain.

The British eight-times European number one has even touted selecting all 12 team members by the captain in the past and is expected to plead for more wild-cards when Europe’s tournament committee meet at the Irish Open next month.

On Wednesday at the PGA Golf de Catalunya course, the day before he plays in the Spanish Open, Montgomerie declined to reveal just how he wants his team to be formed but left no doubt he will ask for a change to the system.

“I am one vote (on Ryder Cup team selection), although a more powerful one now than I was, and I’ll put a case forward,” Montgomerie told reporters.

“It’s up to the committee to debate that and to come up with a scenario. I can’t at this stage say what - but you can put two-and-two together.”

Reports that his opposing captain Corey Pavin is urging his top men Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to play Celtic Manor, venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup, in a Wales Open before the encounter, left Montgomerie unfazed.

While Pavin is playing this year’s Wales Open at Celtic Manor, Montgomerie does not believe the world’s numbers one and two will turn up.

“Knowing Celtic Manor will be a huge, huge advantage to Europe. We will have had three years playing it (the Ryder Cup course) and the Americans will only have three days. It was proved in 1997 that 10 years learning to play Valderrama gave us a tremendous advantage.”


April 30, 2009

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