Harrington: honest Monty has no ulterior motive

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON says there’s no hidden agenda in Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie going public in declaring all 12 European team members will compete on the first day at Celtic Manor.

In an unprecedented move, Monty made the revelation on the eve of today’s commencing Vivendi Cup in France saying he has informed each of his team to be ready for competition on Friday October 1.

Monty sought the concurrence of each of his four vice-captains, including Paul McGinley, with a view to assisting with the preparations and relieving any anxiety among his Celtic Manor squad.

It’s a move, as Monty also pointed out, that is totally the opposite to Nick Faldo and his hapless approach of two years ago at Valhalla.

“There is no point in me keeping secrets as I am going against the form of telling the team two hours beforehand whether they are in or not,” said Montgomerie.

“So, barring accidents or illness I know who is going to be on that first tee on Friday morning and they’ve been informed so they can prepare accordingly.

“In fact, everybody knows what is going on and it’s important they understand that all 12 players are going to be playing on Friday and that they are going to be available to play, so they know exactly where they stand.

“I am not giving away anything by saying this and if you see the Molinaris playing in a practice round then you can assume that they are playing together.

“Graeme (McDowell) and Rory (McIlroy) might have a game together so what’s the point in me not telling the media that.

“And at the same time Corey is not going to change his plans because of what I am doing, and I’m not changing my plans because of what he’s doing.”

Harrington, who will team with 41-year old brother Fergal for the opening two days of the Vivendi Cup at Golf de Joyvenal in Chambourcy, said the move was a continued reflection of the Scot’s ‘no hidden agenda’ team policy.

“Monty spoke to us all about it and he’s also making the point that he’s showing confidence in all his players, and that he is not carrying any baggage,” said Harrington.

“Colin has been very open ever since being made the captain and there’s no hidden agenda, and no, I don’t see it playing into Corey’s hands as he probably realises Corey is going to do the same.”

And McGinley, who is contesting the pro-am format of the Vivendi Cup in the company of Dermot Desmond, agreed with the move.

“It’s a good move most definitely,” said McGinley.

“I was a six to 12 type of player myself and you are always anxious to get going so it was a big weight off my mind when Sam (Torrance) told me I was to be playing the first day.”

Caddying for Desmond is fellow Irishman Ray Latchford, the long-time caddy to Des Smyth and who McGinley has asked to drive his golf cart for the duration of Ryder Cup week.

Just four Irish are contesting the €1.25m event on both the Retz and Marly courses at Golf de Joyevnal with the leading 65 pros to contest the weekend rounds.


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