FORMER Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie believes it is important Europe’s Rory McIlroy avoids America’s Tiger Woods in the Ryder Cup singles on Sunday.
Montgomerie was the captain when Europe won at Celtic Manor two years ago and despite understandable public interest in seeing the tournament’s two greatest talents directly compete, believes it to be in McIlroy’s best interests to avoid Woods.
Citing the 2006 World Match Play example when Stephane Ames lost to Woods to underline the challenge involved in competing with the illustrious American, the Scot stressed it was a risk that world No1 McIlroy needs not take.
“I would leave Woods well alone,” said Montgomerie. “Don’t go anywhere near him, especially in America and playing now to a certain degree an awful lot better than he has been.
“I would want Rory to be playing someone else in the singles if you don’t mind.
“Yes, everybody wants this to happen, but look what happened to Stephen Ames when he played Woods. Look at what happened
to Francesco Molinari when he played Woods.”
Another American who potentially represents a risk to Europe’s chances of success is the in-form Brandt Snedeker, who on Sunday beat England’s Justin Rose to the FedEx Cup title when McIlroy’s own challenge unravelled.
Snedeker will be making his Ryder Cup debut but believes this particular victory leaves him in a strong position to impress.
“I know it’s going to be a pressure-packed week, but I’m going to use this as a huge thing to fall back on. I’m playing the best golf of my career,” said Snedeker, who won $11m (£6.79m) because of his victory.
“It’s a little bit crazy. I’m not by any means a flashy guy. I drive the same car I’ve had since I’ve been on the PGA Tour – I’ve had it four-and-a-half and it’s got 24,000 miles on it. Of anybody that I know I do not need $11m. I’ve a little boy on the way in a month. My life is about to change drastically not because of money, because I’m going to have two kids.”