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Colin Montgomerie Questions Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup Team Selection

Colin Montgomerie Questions Padraig Harrington's Ryder Cup Team Selection
By Eoin Harrington

It's fair to say that last year's Ryder Cup was a bit of a disaster for the European team, as they fell to their heaviest loss in over 40 years to the US. Captain Padraig Harrington came under fire at the time for his team selection - and former captain Colin Montgomerie has once again criticised Harrington's selection process.

2010 captain Montgomerie spoke to the BBC this week and questioned whether the team Harrington brought to Whistling Straits was the strongest available to him.

'Get that back on track in a hurry' - Montgomerie questions Padraig Harrington's captaincy

For Irish fans, the 2021 Ryder Cup had a tantalising set up. An Irish captain in Padraig Harrington and two Irish players in Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy meant that there was plenty of interest.

Though Lowry would go on to be one of the stars of the team, it ultimately didn't pan out as expected, with the States claiming a comprehensive 19-9 win - their biggest since 1979.

26 September 2021; Team USA captain Steve Stricker celebrates with the Ryder Cup trophy after the the Sunday singles matches at the Ryder Cup 2021 Matches at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA. Photo by Tom Russo/Sportsfile

Colin Montgomerie played at multiple Ryder Cups with Harrington, and chose the Irishman as one of his captain's picks when he was captain in 2010.

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Montgomerie was not impressed, however, by Harrington's captain's picks last year, and also questioned his pairing selection when he spoke to the BBC this week:

Last year, too many mistakes were made. Yes the US played well but Europe didn't play to their potential for the first time in my memory. We have to do that to have a chance in Rome [in 2023].

It was a heavy and poor defeat - we need to have a bit of a rethink about how we pick our team.

Were our best 12 players playing? Possibly not. Were they playing in the right groups? Possibly not. Would it have changed the result? Possibly not. But it wouldn't have been a record defeat. That was a shame so we've got to get that back on track in a hurry.

The discussion around the next Ryder Cup team selection will undoubtedly speed up once 2023 rolls around, and earlier this week Montgomerie suggested Luke Donald as captain for next year's edition in Rome.

25 September 2021; Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington, right, and vice captain Graeme McDowell during the Saturday afternoon fourball matches at the Ryder Cup 2021 Matches at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA. Photo by Tom Russo/Sportsfile

Despite the poor performance of the European team in 2021, there were a few standout performers. Lowry contributed some major points, with most of the European charge being led by Jon Rahm. Montgomerie praised Rahm and Norwegian player Viktor Hovland, suggesting that they are the kind of players a European captain should be looking for.

We need to find another Viktor Hovland and another Jon Rahm and quickly.

There are a number of talented guys out here, they've got to show the winning mentality and not just win once, but win again and again and prove they can do this again and again.

Padraig Harrington has defended his team selection for last year's Ryder Cup, but it can't be denied that the trip to Wisconsin was disastrous for Team Europe. The focus will swiftly shift to the 2023 edition on home soil in the Italian capital.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things Sky Sports Can Improve Upon With Their Ryder Cup Coverage

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