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27th January 2010

Lawrence Donegan: Quiet please, Monty

The incessant and premature talk about the Ryder Cup is not ‘promoting the event’, it is self-aggrandising drivel

Martin Kaymer, a certainty for Europe’s Ryder Cup team later this year, gave an interesting insight into how he and his colleagues view the contest with the United States in this Q&A session with

My eyes were drawn to this section in particular:

Q. The fans are already thinking about the Ryder Cup. When do the players start taking it seriously?

A. After the U.S. Open — the second major. We have big tournaments in Europe at the beginning of the year so after the U.S. Open everybody has a proper look at the rankings and can see where he is standing and then it gets serious.

The US Open is in June. Which prompts me to ask why on earth Colin Montgomerie - he’s European captain this time round, don’t you know! - never misses an opportunity to drone about October’s event at Celtic Manor. He was at it in Thailand a few weeks ago, where he was captaining a “Europe” team against an “Asia” team in some meaningless event, and he was at it again in Abu Dhabi last week.

Here is a sample from the Daily Telegraph:

“The team is looking extremely strong. They all want to make the team so badly. I know that. They’ve told me. It’s very exciting.

“I will have an issue with my three picks. I’m going to have 10 potential clients for three spots, all feeling that they have a right to be there. It’s going to be difficult. This year I’m going to be talking team set-up and not trousers, shirts, menus and rooms.”

And previous Ryder Cup captains, unlike Field Marshal Montgomerie, concentrated on the trousers rather than the important stuff, like team set-up? Please.

No doubt there will be more of the same this week, and next week and the week after that, all the way until October. It’s hardly Montgomerie’s fault if he is asked about the Ryder Cup. But does he really need to frame every shot, every moment, of the golfing year in the context of an event that won’t take for another eight months? He could respond by saying that if, as Kaymer points out, the players don’t take subject seriously until June, it would be best if everyone else adopted the same approach.

That way no-one will grow weary of the subject. Nor will they start to form the impression that all this premature Ryder Cup chatter has less to do with promoting the tournament than it does with his fulfilling a need Montgomerie has to see his name in the paper every day. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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