Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Woosnam says leaving Casey out is a

big mistake by skipper Montgomerie

Wales' victorious 2006 Ryder Cup skipper Ian Woosnam says he would definitely have picked Paul Casey in his side to face the United States at the Celtic Manor next month.
European captain Colin Montgomerie controversially overlooked world No 8 Casey and the in-form Justin Rose when handing out his three wild cards nine days ago.
Monty opted for Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari, leaving Casey as the biggest casualty.
"Casey's one of the longest hiiters in the world and would definitely have been in my team," said Woosnam who will be part of Sky Sports commentary team at Celtic Manor.
"You can't say it's the strongest team because the world No 8, Casey, is not there. You need to get the strongest team possible out on the golf course.
"Someone had to be left out and it was a difficult job. As the captain, Colin's the one who had to make the decision and ultimately stand by it.
"I'm not saying who should be picked but I did find it a little bit strange not having Casey, who's such a long-hitter, in the side. I would have seen that as an advantage at Celtic Manor and against an American team that includes some of the longer hitters in the world at the moment. Paul Casey would have been in my fantasy team, let's put it that way."
Montgomerie was faced with what he called "impossible" decisions over selection as Harrington, Donald, Casey and Rose all needed wild cards as their decdision to play much of their golf in America hampered their chances of automatic qualification.
And then, Molinari threw another spanner in the works with a stunning run of form that culminated in his victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles - the final qualifying event.
Given the fact that Molinari missed automatic qualification only by a whisker, Montgomerie had little choice but to pick the Italian.
Few argued with that decision but plenty of eyebrows were raised when the Scot opted for Harrington and Donald ahead of Casey and Rose.
Despite his three Majors, Harrington has been struggling to find form and his Ryder Cup record is pretty woeful.
Donald's Ryder Cup resume is altogether more impressive but as one of the shorter hitters on the scene, he was expected to lose out in the race to win a captain's pick. Woosnam accepts what a difficult choice Monty had to make.
"when I made my choices I went for people who were going to be strong in the team environment," said Woosie.
"I picked Darren Clarke, paired him with Lee Westwood, and it turned out perfect. I might have looked at it differently to Colin but he's made his choice. He was in a difficult situation.
"Padraig does it the way he wants to do it. He's had two bad Ryder Cups, maybe this is the one where he'll shine. I'd maybe look at putting him with a different partner.
"You have to look at how Harrington's playing, how many times you are going to play him. It's very difficult to say how he'll play. Some players shine in the Ryder Cup and others don't.
"Maybe, when Padraig gets into a match-play situation next month - he's a bit wild at the moment - perhaps it will relax him and he'll end up winning four or five points out of five."



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