Colin Montgomerie today said that he would have done some things differently to Nick Faldo last week – and that it would be “a shame” if fellow Scot Sandy Lyle is not made captain for the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Asked if he thought Faldo got the best of the team beaten by five points at Valhalla, Montgomerie, not part of the action for the first time since 1989, replied: “Possibly not.”
The eight-time European number one, who could have gone past Faldo’s cup points record if he had been given a wild card, gave the broadest hint that he thought Faldo putting Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington out last in the singles was the biggest mistake.
“It occurred to me (when he saw the order) that unfortunately Poulter, Westwood, Harrington are possibly our three strongest players and they might not be – might be, but might not be – involved in the final shake-up.
“Play them earlier and they would have been involved 100%. Only once in the whole history of the Ryder Cup has the number 12 decided the match. Bernhard Langer in 1991.”
Although there has already been talk of successful 2006 captain Ian Woosnam returning into the job for the first ever match on Welsh soil, Montgomerie has spoken up for Lyle.
Of Europe’s “Big Five” of the 1980s – Seve Ballesteros, Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Lyle and Woosnam – only Lyle has not yet been given the captaincy.
“I think it would be nice to see him,” said Montgomerie. “I feel it would be a shame if it wasn’t Sandy.”
Montgomerie added that no amount of money would change his mind about wanting to play again rather than captain next time and that it did not take Einstein to work out the next three leaders.
By that he means Lyle in 2010, Jose Maria Olazabal in Chicago in 2012 and then himself at Gleneagles in 2014.
By then Montgomerie hopes Europe will have copied the United States by having four wild cards rather than the current two – and if not then he will certainly be asking for that.