Actually, Bernhard Langer has until the tournament ends Sunday to announce his two selections (Watch Langer's picks Live on TGC Sunday following the BMW In'tl Open), and Herr Langer has been awfully secretive as to his eventual selections. But Montgomeries opening-round 67 makes it hard to overlook the six-time Ryder Cup veteran. I dont usually go by past records for current events, but Monty has gone 16-7-5 in 28 matches against the Yanks, and 4-0-2 in singles, and you just cant ignore excellence like that. Particularly with a young team such as Europe is shaping up to be.
Would Langer have picked Montgomerie prior to this week? Its problematic. He finished T4 in a Euro event the end of July, but other than that, his record the past three months or so has been rather pedestrian nothing else in the top 20, and a missed cut at the Smurfit European Open. He wasnt eligible for the U.S. Open or the PGA Championship. He finished T25 in the British Open. In the Volvo PGA ' another European Tour biggie ' he could do no better than a tie for 47th.
But if Langer was waiting to see a spark from Monty, something that plainly said, Pick me! the opening round of 67 in this weeks BMW might have been it.
It doesn't hurt, does it? It doesn't hurt, said Montgomerie when the first round was over.
If I went out there and shot 78 today, you know, what's happening here? Of course it doesn't hurt. Of course there's a bit of pressure on me. Of course there has to be.
Montgomerie has been going through a divorce this year, which could explain his lackluster results. If Im Langer, thats what I have to be thinking. Or at least, thats what I want to believe. If youre a European, thats reason enough to believe theres got to be something better.
Even more imposing than the first-round 67, though, is the fact that Montgomerie is the unanimous wild-card choice for the entire Euro team. That is very difficult to argue with. Ignore it, and you risk a team mindset that is defeatist going in. Pick Monty, and your team members immediately rally around him.
Joakim Haeggman, though, is still not certain. Personally, he would pick Montgomerie. Hes not sure about Langer, though. He figures Langer had his mind just about made up before this week.
It is not like a football coach who selects his team three hours before play, said Haegmann. He has got his mind sorted out and pretty much knows. He will know who he wants on the team and who he doesnt want on the team.
I mean, guys like (Frederik) Jacobson and (Luke) Donald wouldnt be over here if they didnt think they had a chance to make the team, and I am sure he would like to see some form from Colin as well. Everyone is saying that Colin is on the team, but he has got to show some kind of form as well. So it was nice to see him playing well today.'
And Monty's opening round of 5-under just about convinced Haeggman, too.
If your name is Colin Montgomerie with seven Order of Merits and X number of Ryder Cups and a great record in the Ryder Cup, all you need to do is to show people you can still play the game and he would be a great pick for a team like that. Anybody can understand that.
Alex Cejka thinks so, too ' in case Langer is looking for any help.
I think if I would be in his place, I think Monty is definitely (in), he said. He's playing very well this year. He won already. He's an experienced guy. He played the Ryder Cup many times.
And Sergio Garcia says that unquestionably Montgomerie can help.
There's no doubt that Monty is a guy with a lot of experience. He's played on many Ryder Cups. He's done very well in them. So that's a huge advantage for him going into Bernhard's thoughts, Garcia believes.
But Garcia realizes that several other players have to be considered, too, and that the events of Saturday are extremely important. He knows, like everyone, that even a Montgomerie win this week would not vault him into the position of an automatic selection. Monty has to be Langers guy ' and the feeling from this corner is he is ' or else he will be watching the events in Detroit from the sidelines.
You know, you can't take anything from the other guys who have been trying to qualify, too, said Sergio. My personal feeling is that, yeah, Monty is kind of like a step forward from some of the other guys. But I'm not the one choosing. So, we'll see what Bernhard is just going to do whatever he thinks is best for the team, and whatever he does, we'll all take it as the best thing.
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