Is the Ryder Cup more important to Europe?

August 25, 2010

It sometimes seems that way. Miguel Angel Jimenez, for instance, is forgoing his nephew's wedding on Saturday to play in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in an attempt to secure a berth on the European Ryder Cup team. Originally he wasn't going to play at Gleneagles.

European captain Colin Montgomerie, meanwhile, suggested that more than pride is at stake in the Ryder Cup scheduled to be played in Wales in October, that European Tour sponsorships can turn on the outcome.

"We need to remember the most important thing is to win," he said Wednesday. "If we do that, we'll keep sponsors and find new ones. The people who will benefit most from a victory are not those competing in America but those who play week-in, week-out on the European Tour."

Montgomerie was referring to four European stars who have not earned automatic berths on the European team -- Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Justin Rose -- yet are playing in the Barclays in the U.S. this week, rather than at Gleneagles, in the final European team qualifying tournament.

-- John Strege