Sympatico Column: Monty's Pick Could be Pavin's Windfall

Monty's decision to skip over Paul Casey could come back to haunt him.

My latest Sympatico column went live over the weekend. In it I discuss the Ryder Cup selection — though I’ll admit I never thought of Charley Hoffman as a pick, though some think he is following his win yesterday. US Captain Corey Pavin will announce his picks this morning.

Here’s something to capture your interest:

Paul Casey went to school in the U.S., lives in the country and is married to a woman from our neighbour to the south.And to listen to some of the talk in the U.K. about why Casey, who is currently 8th in the official world golf ranking, was left of Colin Montgomeries’ Ryder Cup team, you’d think he’d not only betrayed his nation, but was actually born in the land of the stars and stripes. Imagine if Canada considered Mike Weir, who has lived in Utah since he went to college, as an American. It is about the same as a Canuck turning their back on the NHL, the maple leaf and cheap beer.
In other words, Paul Casey is from England, regardless of the fact he hangs his hat in Arizona. Try telling that to Colin Montgomerie.
The truth is that by playing politics instead of making smart decisions, Montgomery has hurt his team more than a month before the Ryder Cup even lands in Wales. A lot has been said about the impact – or lack thereof – that the captain has on his Ryder Cup squad. Probably the best thing he can do is pick the best golfers and get out of the way. Instead, Monty has put his mark on his Ryder Cup team, and it is hard to see how it is positive.
Unlike the American team, which has four so-called “wild card,” choices, the European team has only three selections. Monty used it to pick Luke Donald, currently the 11th player in the world and a European Tour winner this year, as well as rising Italian star Edoardo Molinari, and finally Irish major winner Padraig Harrington. In the process he ignored Casey and Justin Rose, twice a winner on the PGA Tour, while also cementing the notion that playing on the European Tour is more significant than winning on the PGA Tour, where the competition is decidedly stronger. It is an odd move, one that won’t matter should Montgomerie’s team win. If they lose, expect all of those Mrs. Doubtfire dolls to be burned in effigy.

 The rest of the column is here.

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Jeff Lancaster

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