Plenty will happen between now and the fall of 2016, when the Ryder Cup will be contested at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska. But that didn’t stop Colin Montgomerie from being asked about his thoughts on the European side come 2016.
The Scot, in the Twin Cities this week for the 3M Championship, offered a variety of thoughts on the subject. A primer, if you will, for local golf fans on who they night be rooting against three autumns from now.
Not that Montgomerie could say anything definitive about the roster.
“To think about the makeup of the European team is very difficult to say. It changes considerably,” said Montgomerie, Europe’s captain in 2010 at Celtic Manor. “You have a base – I suppose Rory [McIlroy] will get his game back and he’ll be that base again along with the [Luke] Donalds and [Ian] Poulters and [Graeme] McDowells, these sort of guys – but then it’s always amazing the change that comes through and it’s always more difficult to make that team than you might imagine.”
Montgomerie pointed out Martin Kaymer, the German who won the 2010 PGA Championship, rose to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings and clinched the Ryder Cup by a point for Europe in 2012. Kaymer has slipped to 36th in the World Golf Rankings this week, and there are 10 Europeans ahead of him.
“He’s not a given for 2014,” Montgomerie said.
One thing is for certain: Montgomerie will not be back as captain.
“We’ve gone away from [multiple-time] captains; it’s a one-hit thing, win or lose,” Montgomerie said.
Montgomerie sees Darren Clarke as the favorite for European captain at Hazeltine. And don’t count out Padraig Harrington or Thomas Bjorn, either.
"But we have to get past [the 2014 Ryder Cup at] Gleneagles first,” Montgomerie said. “Point victories are a bit close. We’ll have to do something about that – or you will.”