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Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 15:09 UK

Montgomerie hits back at Poulter

Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie has featured in the last eight Ryder Cups with Europe

Colin Montgomerie has continued his war of words with Ian Poulter over this year's Ryder Cup wildcard picks.

Montgomerie said the Englishman had a "hotline" to Europe captain Nick Faldo after Poulter opted to play in America rather than at Gleneagles this week.

Poulter, who denied he had been given a wildcard, suggested Montgomerie should concentrate on making the team himself.

"Nice to be told what to do by one so young and so inexperienced," said the Scot, an eight-time Ryder Cup veteran.

"Is anyone else speaking to Nick? No. Self-praise is no praise."

Poulter is outside the automatic qualifying spots for the European team, but opted to play in America rather than try to force his way into the top 10 places via a good finish at the Johnnie Walker Championship.

The 32-year-old, who admits he has been friendly with Faldo since his early days as a professional, strongly rejected claims he made his decision because he had already been granted a wildcard.

"There are a lot of comments from players going about that I don't think should have been said, to be honest," he said.

"I don't need to get in the discussion of Monty's discussions. He's got enough work to do this week to try to make the side himself. He should just be getting his head down and trying to play good golf."

Montgomerie took at least part of this advice, boosting his own wildcard hopes with a three-under-par 70 on the second day at Gleneagles.

With Justin Rose and Soren Hansen also looking to secure automatic picks, Darren Clarke - winner at the KLM Open last week - remains favourite for a Faldo wildcard choice.

It is thought that would leave Montgomerie, Poulter and Paul Casey battling for the second pick.

And with a world ranking of 23 - against Casey's 35 and Montgomerie's 91 - Poulter could be leading the race.

"It's a very difficult decision (for Faldo) - not as clear-cut as it has been in previous years possibly - but I am sure he will make the right one," added Montgomerie after his round on Friday.

"I have to show form to have an opportunity and I have to keep performing this weekend. I don't think I necessarily have to win - if you are 10th on the European Tour these days you are performing quite well."

see also
European Ryder Cup rankings
26 Aug 08 |  Golf

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