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Shock call-ups for European Ryder Cup team

Montgomerie goes for Harrington, Donald and Molinari

Posted Aug 30, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Padraig Harrington

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has surprised the golfing world by omitting World No. 8 Paul Casey and World No. 23 Justin Rose from his team to face the United States for the competition that starts on October 1 at Celtic Manor in Wales.

These two were favourites for the pick ahead of Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald but Monty has decided that the experience of Harrington and the guile of World No. 11 Donald more worthy than the qualities possessed by Rose and Casey. Edoardo Molinari was rewarded with the third wildcard spot following his incredible win at the Johnny Walker Championship at Gleneagles yesterday. He nailed three birdies in the final three holes to beat Australian Brett Rumford.

Rose still has a chance of playing should Lee Westwood fail to recover from the calf injury that has hampered him for some time now.

Many had expected Harrington to be left out as he continues to struggle for any real form. The three-time major winner has not shown any consistency for two years now since his last Tour title – the USPGA Championship – in 2008. He also didn’t win a single game in the 2008 Ryder Cup and many had felt that would play against him. But his experience in major competitions seems to be what has earned him a wildcard.

Donald, who spends a lot of time playing on the US Tour, is a genuine talent in the foursomes and fourball formats of the game, having lost just once in seven Ryder Cup outings.

Rose had been tipped by many to earn a spot in the side as he has a ready-made partner in Ian Poulter – the two performing so well together in the past – and that he has once twice on the US Tour this summer.

Miguel Angel Jimenez finished joint third to make sure of a spot in his fourth Ryder Cup while Peter Hanson finished 19th to be assured of his place. He required a top-43 finish.

The confirmed European team is: Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Peter Hanson, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari.

Elsewhere Scotland’s Martin Laird lost out in a play-off to American Matt Kuchar following a disappointing finish to his final round at the Barclays FedEx Cup event.

Laird had led by five shots at one point on the final day but three putted from inside 25-feet at the 18th to go to a play-off.

On the first play-off hole, Kuchar hit a shot that hit the slope and rolled to two-and-a-half feet away. He made birdie and claimed his first win of the year.

Paul Casey and World No. 1 Tiger Woods were tied on seven under, five shots adrift. Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose all finished on six under whilst Padraig Harrington (-1) and Rory McIlroy (+1) were some distance behind.

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