The Loop

Monty chooses Molinari, Donald, Harrington

August 29, 2010

The remarkable victory by Italy's Edoardo Molinari in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on Sunday earned him a spot on the European Ryder Cup as one of Colin Montgomerie's three captains picks, Montgomerie said on Sunday.

Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald were his other two captain's picks. Paul Casey, who is ninth in the World Ranking, and Justin Rose, who has won twice on the PGA Tour this year, were the odd men out.

Molinari birdied the final three holes at Gleneagles to win for the second time in his last six starts. He'll join his brother Francesco Molinari, who made the Ryder Cup team on points.

"What can one say about today's performance?" Montgomerie said. "In my time, as a player on the European Tour, I don't think I've seen a finish of that quality under such pressure by anyone, ever."

Montgomerie chose Harrington based on his historic standing in the game, rather than his form in the two years that have expired since his last victory.

"Three major championships in the last three years," Montgomerie said explaining the Harrington pick. "The stature of Padraig Harrington and someone that we feel that nobody in match-play golf wants to play. A great competitor."

Donald, who is 10th in the World Ranking, was selected based on his Ryder Cup history.

"Luke Donald, we have someone who can compete in foursomes and four-ball golf. Seven times in Ryder Cup play and has only lost in one particular game," Montgomerie said.

The nine players who earned berths based on points: Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Franceso Molinari, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

As for Casey and Rose, Montgomerie said, "I'd rather just comment on the strengths of the ones that have been picked. I feel sorry for Paul Casey and Justin Rose, [the latter] for having won twice in the States this year. We have an embarrassment of riches on this occasion. We had to leave out world stars."

Rose was tied for eighth at the Barclays early in the final round on Sunday.

-- John Strege