Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Colin Mongomerie has blown his last chance to be a winner.

If I were a Brit, I would call him a nitwit. Or, a daft git with his head in a loo.


Colin Mongomerie, the perpetual loser of the golf world, sealed his fate yesterday when he made some of the most questionable picks ever by a Ryder Cup Captain.

Monty already had a very strong team: Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson, Migel Angel Jiminez, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, and Lee Westwood.

But with his Captain's picks he chose Padraig Harrington, Edoardo Molinari, and Luke Donald. For now, I will leave Donald off the "horrible mistake" list and just focus on Harrington and Molinari.

After winning three majors, Harrington has plummeted to 19th in the world rankings and hasn't won a significant event since. His play has been just about as bad as any professionals play can be. And he has an 0-7-2 record in his last nine Ryder Cup appearances.

Edoardo Molinari is a young gun on the European tour who has actually climbed to number 15 in the world rankings. And, his brother made the team. Cute story line right? But who cares?

I am not the only one who was shocked that these two made the team while Paul Casey and Justin Rose will be watching the tournament from their couches. Casey and Rose have been tremendous all year, and they represented their European colleagues well while playing in the much tougher US events. For a while at the beginning of summer, Justin Rose was unquestionably the hottest player on tour with two (and nearly three) wins in three weeks. And although he has only played 14 US events, Casey has racked up five top five finishes. On a per appearance basis, that makes him the 3rd or 4th most consistent player on tour. To leave these players off the squad is criminal.

Another thing to consider is that with these picks, Monty's Mounties (they have Mounties in Europe too right?) run the risk of just being totally overpowered by the Americans. With Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Jeff Overton Lucas Glover and dark horse Captain's Pick JB Holmes all averaging over or just under 300 yards per drive, the Europeans may get left in the dust. Only the 21 year old phenom and Rory McIlroy can compete with that. Westwood and Kaymer can come close, but the rest of Monty's team may be attacking the greens with a few more clubs in their hands at the nearly 7,500 yard par 71 Celtic Manor course. Given this, it would have certainly been interesting to see Monty pick someone like the titan Alvaro Quiros to match the U.S.'s power.

But of course, Monty's mistakes have benefited Americans in the past. At the 1992 U.S. Open, a Monty collapse led Tom Kite to victory. A collapse at the 1995 PGA led Steve Elkington to victory, and a collapse at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot would have also led to a U.S. victory had Phil Mickelson not have fallen on his sword as well.

So I guess us Americans should just propose a toast: Here's to you Monty, thanks for the many good memories.


  1. Interesting post, as a huge Monty fan I must take umbrage at at least half of this though.
    Firstly, though Monty may be a "perpetual loser" in terms of Majors, he still has a quite amazing record-winner of the European Order of Merit 8 times, including 7 times in a row, as well as one of the greatest Ryder Cup players of all time. So while his mistakes may have benefited such wonderful and beloved Americans as Tom Kite and Steve Elkington (who's Australian), his prowess in the Ryder Cup has also more than made up for that.
    With regards to Molinari, Monty picked a player coming into form at the right time, and who along with his brother won last year's World Cup of Golf. I would say that having these two playing in fourballs and foursomes is a savvy move and not just a "cute" story line.
    I do agree that he shouldn't have picked Harrington, who was terrible in the past two Ryder Cups. Not to mention Casey has a fine matchplay record.
    As for Donald, he's a solid enough player and I don't think there's much wrong with that pick.
    It should also be mentioned that Casey and others were given numerous chances to play European Tour events but eschewed them to stay in the US and swell their coffers even more, so they are at least partially to blame.
    Thus ends my diatribe.

  2. I can honestly say that I would never want to be called the best golfer never to win a major. That's like saying you have tried your whole life to do something and still failed at it. Its a dark depressing place to be.

    Thank you for you honesty Wolfgang. I am sorry that you too have spent waiting for a summit that will never be reached, a climax that will never come.

  3. This is true. Just like Dan Marino is a failure for not winning a Superbowl. I'd rather have Colin's career than Todd Hamilton's.
    There is more to golf than those 4 tournaments and although Monty winning one would have been one of my great sporting moments, I still love the guy. His fallibility only makes me love him more.

  4. Regarding Molinari you are taking an astonishingly blinkered view - 'nice story... who cares?' Who cares that he is the form player in European golf, that alongside his brother they have already won the World Cup of golf? Let's face it, he hasn't performed in your back yard and that is all that matters to you. You are simply judging him from a position of ignorance.

    The sameis true of Rose, and you are over-rating him as you have seem his US performances. You mention that Rose was the hottest player on tour. Yes, the US tour, and the Ryder Cup is in Wales, not America. Rose hasn't played on the European Tour enough to warrant a place, and the Ryder Cup is still there to reward players on that Tour. Whilst the disgraceful scenes at Brookline showed that to the US the game is simply about winning, for Europe it is about the tour and a team - something that has been more than enough to win in recent years.

    Finally, while most people would have picked Casey instead of Harrington there is a bigger picture to look at, and that is that Harrington is a very popular player and good for the team. On the one hand you slate Monty for not winning majors, then seem to say that the most successful European major winner of recent years shouldn't be in the team.

    When it comes down to it a great European golfer has a very good European team. Slating him for these picks just shows yet more US bias against Monty. As an aside - it is a huge disadvantage for European players to have three majors in the US, and it is unfair that a wonderful career would be called great if he had won a USPGA title, which lets face it is a sad excuse for a major tournament.

  5. Monty was certainly given a great hand here. The Europeans have played exceedingly well this year no doubt and I wouldnt be surprised if they smoked the Americans in the cup this year. But leaving Rose and Casey off the team is inexcusible.

    The reason that there are captian's picks is so that the captain can right the ship when the system breaks down. In this case, Casey and Rose were penalized for playing against tougher fields in the US. They should have been rewarded with slots on the team.

    Molinari (both for that matter) may one day be a great golfer and deserve a spot on the team. But to say that he will win out in head to head matches against the best in the world is risky at best. Why wouldnt you go with Casey who has been a force at the Accenture Match play is a much better bet.

  6. "So while his mistakes may have benefited such wonderful and beloved Americans as Tom Kite and Steve Elkington (who's Australian) Classic, American geography at it's finest

  7. Well I think it is fair to say that Monty has proved you pretty much totally wrong isn't it? I'm not sure your utterly bizarre idea of picking Alvaro Quiros would have helped. This was the most unified European team for a long time, and Monty did a wonderful job. Thank you Monty.