Monty Issues Warning to European Players

The captain of Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup team, Colin Montgomerie, has issued a veiled warning to prospective team members that he expects them to be in Scotland during the last week of qualifying rather than playing in a PGA Tour event.

Two years ago, Montgomerie voiced his dismay over Ian Poulter's decision to remain in the U.S. rather than trying to earn Ryder Cup points by playing in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Captain Nick Faldo later selected Poulter as one of his wild card picks.

Wednesday, on the eve of the Wales Open that will be played on the same course as the site of the Ryder Cup matches in early October, Montgomerie said players who opt to stay Stateside like Poulter did in 2008 will be viewed unfavorably.

"I want to see them showing support for European golf and the European Tour and I will be very, very surprised if they are not there," he said. "That would make a whole lot of sense to a whole lot of people. I am convinced that I will have around eight candidates for three spots. You can count on those eight playing at Gleneagles. They will be there.

"Knowing that the two wild card selections last time (Paul Casey was the other, but he could not get in on points by then) were not at Gleneagles, you would anticipate that all the so-called possibilities will be playing at Gleneagles, yes."

One of the problems with Monty's admonition is that many of Europe's finest players will be hoping to have qualified for the FedEx Cup, which offers $10 million to the winner. Among those expected to qualify for the points-based, four-tournament playoff series are Poulter, Casey, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Brian Davis.

When apprised last week of Montgomerie's demands, Garcia commented, "The Ryder Cup is important, but you can't change your whole schedule for it."

Added Donald: "That will be a tough call, whether I can afford to miss a playoff event. I'll have to take it as it comes."

Montgomerie had earlier expressed hopes that all of the continent's top players would be playing at Celtic Manor this week. But 21-year-old McIlroy decided to play in the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, in an effort to secure his second PGA Tour victory.