European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie has selected three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari as his three wild card picks for the matches in Wales Oct. 1-3.
Montgomerie also announced that Sergio Garcia will join as fourth vice captain. Earlier this month the Spaniard had announced that he was taking a sabbatical from competitive golf.
Molinari birdied the last three holes at Gleneagles to win the Johnnie Walker Championship on Sunday. The Italian, a former U.S. Amateur champ, joins his brother Francesco on the European Team. Montgomerie called Edoardo Molinari’s performance on Sunday at Gleneagles “one of -- if not the -- finest win” in his 24 years of European Tour experience.
Donald is making a strong bid Sunday to win The Barclays, which is the first event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. The Englishman, who won the Madrid Masters, birdied his first six holes and is now three strokes behind the overnight leader Martin Laird, who is just teeing off.
In selecting Harrington, Donald and Edoardo Molinari, Montgomerie left Paul Casey, who is ranked No. 9 in the world, and Justin Rose on the sidelines. Rose is a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR this year and started the final round of The Barclays five strokes off the lead.
“I and our team had to leave out world, world stars,” Montgomerie said.
Montgomerie said he spoke to Rose Sunday morning while he was on the range preparing for The Barclays. He was not able to speak to Casey, though, since he had already teed off at Ridgewood.
Montgomerie has also asked Welshman Rhys Davies to accompany the team to Celtic Manor. The previous captain, Nick Faldo, did similarly with Martin Kaymer, who qualified for the European Tour this year, for the matches in Valhalla.