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Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 18:17 UK

Montgomerie unhappy with Poulter

By Peter Scrivener

Ian Poulter
Poulter played in the 2003 and 2005 Seve Trophy events

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has criticised Ian Poulter for pulling out of Britain and Ireland's Vivendi Trophy team to face Continental Europe.

Poulter joins Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Europe's Sergio Garcia in rejecting places at what was the Seve Trophy.

Montgomerie told BBC Sport: "Ian could have made an effort to be here."

Poulter's agent Paul Dunkley countered by saying that family reasons had played a part in the Briton's decision not to play in the Paris event.

While fellow Britain and Ireland players Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald qualified for the Tour Championship at the East Lake club in Atlanta, Poulter missed out by half a point, which equates to one shot.

"Ian looked nailed on to play in this week's Tour Championship so he geared his schedule around that," said Dunkley. "Colin would not have known Ian's schedule.

"Ian had made plans to play in Atlanta, then take four weeks off before playing in six events from October to December that earn Ryder Cup qualifying points.

"He flew out his family for the Tour Championship, but having missed out he did not want to fly them back for one week to play in the Vivendi.

"He loves team golf and his number one target for next year is to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team on merit because he loves the event."

Poulter is one of six players from Britain and Ireland to pull out, while the injured Martin Kaymer has also withdrawn from the European team for the event which was originally named after Spanish legend Seve Ballesteros.

Westwood and Rose, like Poulter, have opted not to play while Paul Casey is injured.

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Iain Carter

Montgomerie is at the St-Nom-la-Breteche course in France to watch potential members of his European Ryder Cup side to take on America at Celtic Manor in October 2010.

"Having been a captain's pick for the last Ryder Cup I felt that an effort could have been made to be here," said Montgomerie.

"There are a few others who have made a good effort. Rory McIlroy has come in from Korea and Robert Karlsson is coming back from illness and wanted to play.

"Miguel Angel Jimenez has never missed a Seve Trophy from the word go. So people have made a conscious effort and I feel that Ian could have given a little more back."

Britain and Ireland captain Paul McGinley said: "I've always been a great team player and whenever I've been picked for a team I play.

"Others guys see it another way. I might not agree with it, but I respect that they have a different opinion.

"Lee Westwood is the only one who rang me and explained why he wasn't going to play. I didn't agree with him but I respect that he's his own man and he can make his own decisions."

Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie is in France for the Ryder Cup rehearsal

Westwood wants the week off to rest as he prepares for the final few events in the Race to Dubai money list where he currently lies fourth behind Kaymer, Casey and McIlroy.

Britain and Ireland have beaten Continental Europe four times in a row in the biennial tournament which works on similar matchplay lines to the Ryder Cup, though the event is over four days rather than three.

Fourballs are played on Thursday and Friday, followed by greensomes (when partners both drive on each hole, but then choose one ball) and foursomes on Saturday and then singles on Sunday.

And while the competition does not have the intensity of the Ryder Cup, European captain Thomas Bjorn warned: "When you are a continental European there is nothing better than beating Brits."



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see also
McIlroy makes U-turn on Ryder Cup
23 Sep 09 |  Golf
Withdrawals hit Vivendi defence
23 Sep 09 |  Golf
McGinley & Bjorn lead Seve teams
14 May 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros makes '90% recovery'
06 May 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros attends football game
03 May 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros talks of cancer fight
31 Mar 09 |  Europe
Ballesteros wants captaincy role
07 Jan 09 |  Golf
GB and Ireland retain Seve Trophy
30 Sep 07 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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