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Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 14:28 UK

Montgomerie aiming for wildcard


Interview: Ryder Cup hopeful Colin Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie says he is determined to be one of European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo's two wildcards.

The 45-year-old feels a win in the Johnnie Walker Championship starting on Thursday may help him convince Faldo, who makes his choices on Sunday.

"My game two weeks ago was poor in America and I took a couple of weeks off," said Montgomerie.

"I've been practising at Gleneagles every day. I feel very confident now in trying to win this event."

The two-week break meant Montgomerie, ranked 20th in the Ryder Cup standings, was unable to qualify by right, and so will have to rely on his superb past record, including his unbeaten run in his last eight singles matches.

However, the eight-times European number one knows even that might not be enough.

Nick the Slasher Mcgurk

"I have no idea how he (Faldo) feels I have to perform this week," said Montgomerie, who said he had had no contact with Faldo recently.

"But hopefully I'm past the stage of justifying my Ryder Cup potential."

Montgomerie's main rivals for the wildcard places are thought to be Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and last week's Dutch Open winner Darren Clarke.

Poulter's decision to rely on a wildcard and play in the United States rather than Gleneagles this week does not appear to have gone down well with other players.

Most of us would have liked to see him trying to qualify

Darren Clarke on Poulter
Poulter could have made the top 10 in the points table with a fifth-place finish at Gleneagles, but is instead playing in Boston.

Montgomerie added: "He (Poulter) seems to have been on a hotline to Nick for a while, but it would have been nice for him to have played here.

"I can't really speak for anybody playing or not playing - he has his own schedule."

Clarke, 17th in the rankings but also a strong wildcard contender after his win in Holland, said: "Most of us would have liked to see him trying to qualify.

"He has stated his desire to make the team, so he obviously thinks it's better for him to be over there."

Justin Rose, one of Poulter's closest friends, also admitted he was a "a little bit surprised" that Poulter was staying in America.

"Maybe he feels like he's done enough - that's all I can imagine," said Rose, whose own chances of a debut have risen because it will now take three out of five players, rather than six, to go past him on the points table.

"I think it's going to be a tricky decision that Nick faces.

"Just reading between the lines he (Poulter) is certainly very well placed in terms of world rankings (23rd against Casey at 35, Clarke at 56 and Montgomerie at 91) and the Open is still relatively recent in my opinion."

Casey, 16th in the Ryder rankings, has also stayed in America, but he could not have made the team on points anyway.

The Ryder Cup against the United States takes place at Valhalla, Kentucky, from 19-21 September.

see also
European Ryder Cup rankings
26 Aug 08 |  Golf

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