Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Colin Mongomerie has blown his last chance to be a winner.
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.