Im feeling the need today to re-visit, in greater detail, this the teapot tempest surrounding Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie that surfaced again last week.
This whole messy, trumped up business of European Ryder Cup captain Faldo feuding with European Ryder Cup stalwart Montgomerie is the Trojan Horse all over again.
Its a misdirection aimed at the Americans who have proved their gullibility in Ryder Cup matters by believing they are the perennial favorites even though they have failed to win five of the last six stagings of golfs answer to the Super Bowl.
And now the Euros would have us believe that the flinty Faldo and the fussy Montgomerie are at odds as the calendar prepares to turn the page into another Ryder Cup year.
This contretemps between Nick and Monty is pure unadulterated balderdash. And any American who sees it as a sign of Euro weakness and a reason for encouragement for the 2008 matches, scheduled for September in Kentucky, is both fooling himself and sadly mistaken.
The Faldo-Montgomerie sham has been brewing in the back channels now for months. But it came to a head at the Seve Trophy matches earlier this year when Faldo reportedly criticized Monty for coming to only two of the five team meetings.
That was disappointing, Faldo was quoted as saying. Then he (Montgomerie) had to be teased out of to the 18th green to support his team.
The tabloids on the other side of the pond had a field day with all of this. Quotes from more than one former Euro Ryder Cup captain appeared and there was unanimity that Monty had been hard done by at Faldos hand.
Meanwhile, Monty quietly partnered Marc Warren to a World Cup victory for Scotland in China. Then he showed up at last weeks Target World Challenge and skied to an opening round 80.
There were knowing nods all around. Monty cant play any more, people winked. Hell be 45 in June. Faldo should ignore him if he doesnt make the team on points, they whispered.
Then Montgomerie shot 67-69-66 in the final three rounds to finish tied for eighth when it would have been easy to mail it in on the weekend, take his $170,000 and run for the airport. Rory Sabbatini apparently did.
Fact is, Americans should wish that the Faldo rumors are true. Ive got a big year ahead, Montgomerie said at Tiger Woods tournament. Obviously, theres a marriage in April'trying that again. And obviously, Ive got to get my act together in playing terms to get back into the Ryder Cup scene. Id like to participate again. Ive played the last eight and Id like to make that nine.
In those eight Ryder Cups Montgomerie has won 20 matches, lost nine and tied seven. Only Bernhard Langer (24.0) and Faldo (25.0) have scored more points than Montys 23.5 for the Euros in the history of the event.
Even more impressive is Montgomeries points-per-match percentage in Ryder Cup play. Every match he has participated in has resulted in an average of .65 points for the Euros. Faldos percentage was .54. Langers was .57.
Faldo would be daft not to want Montgomerie on his team. Faldo is many things. But daft is not one of them.
Moreover, Faldo and Montgomerie played in seven matches as partners in Ryder Cups when both were squad members for Europe. Their record in those seven matches was 3-3-1. (Was Faldo holding Monty back?) If they couldnt stand the sight of each other, as the overheated dispatches would have us believe, how is it that their captains partnered them on seven different occasions?
My theory on Montgomeries excellence in the Ryder Cup is that its a team event. He is not terribly well-liked by his European Tour mates year in and year out. But at the Ryder Cup its all for one and one for all. And Montgomerie responds to the love.
But the point of this screed is that the Americans should pay no attention to this conjured silliness between Faldo and Montgomerie.
And if Faldo starts ripping on Sergio Garcia, all of this nonsense will go from transparent to crystal clear overnight. Garcias Ryder Cup record is 14-4-2. His points-per-match percentage is a stunning .75.
I repeat, Faldo is not daft. And we shouldnt be surprised if he and Montgomerie havent already privately decided to be in league on this perpetrated confederacy.
If the Americans believe any of it, we only have ourselves to blame.
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