Ryder Cup the focus for Monty after Whistling Straits woes

Kohler: European captain Colin Montgomerie was relieved to switch focus from his own game to the Ryder Cup after struggling through two rounds at the US PGA Championship.

The Briton carded a dismal 11-over-par 83 in the weather-delayed second round on Friday and swiftly turned his thoughts to monitoring the progress of his fellow European players over the weekend.

“It has been a very long two days, a very long week unfortunately,” Montgomerie told reporters after sliding to the bottom of the leaderboard at Whistling Straits with an 18-over total of 162.

“I’m looking forward to getting the Ryder Cup team picked, and it’s good to see a few (players) are doing well (here).”

A former eight-times European number one, Montgomerie will select three wild-card picks to round out his 12-man Ryder Cup team after the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on Aug. 29.

Four players will automatically qualify via the Ryder Cup world points list and five through the European points list.

“I have spoken to everyone I needed to speak to about their schedules before and including Gleneagles,” the 47-year-old Scot said.

“I understand their commitments over here (on the US PGA Tour) and understand the ones playing at Gleneagles and I am fine about that. I look forward to selecting a very, very strong team within the next fortnight.”

Asked whether out-of-form Spaniard Sergio Garcia was likely to make the team, Montgomerie replied: “At this stage, it is not looking likely, no.”

Garcia has been an inspirational figure for Europe at the last five Ryder Cups.

This year’s edition will be staged at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales from Oct. 1-3 when Europe will bid to wrest back the trophy they surrendered at Valhalla, Kentucky, in 2008.

Bureau Report