Alexa

Montgomerie promises stronger field for next year

Montgomerie promises stronger field for next year

The weak field for this week's Johnnie Walker Championship won't be repeated next year, when the tournament serves as the final warmup for the Ryder Cup.
Colin Montgomerie, Europe's captain for the Ryder Cup and the tournament chairman for the Johnnie Walker Championship, promised Wednesday that more top players will be at Gleneagles next year.
"I would expect the players ranked five to 25 in Europe to play here next year. They will have a lot to play for," Montgomerie said. "The could be one of the strongest events field-wise on the European Tour. It will be an amazing event next year."
Montgomerie is also planning to ask his top players to compete in next year's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth at the end of May, and the Wales Open at Celtic Manor the following week. Celtic Manor will host the Ryder Cup in October 2010.
This year's Johnnie Walker Championship, which starts Thursday, coincides with the start of the four-tournament Fedex Cup in the United States, which has attracted most leading Europeans including Padraig Harrington, the winner of three majors over the past two years.
Harrington, who has skipped the BMW Championship at Wentworth three of the last six years, has already said he will compete there next year.
"I can't tell them to play but I can ask them to," Montgomerie said. "Actually they have so much to play for next year I probably won't have to ask them."
Qualification for next year's Ryder Cup team begins next week in the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland.
Montgomerie's game is still in disarray after he missed halfway cuts in his last three events, including the PGA Championship two weeks ago.
"Unfortunately my golf is not great right now," Montgomerie said. "I've lost a bit of confidence, as you do when you miss cuts and you don't compete, never mind contend. I have to get back to contending."
Montgomerie has been living on the Gleneagles Hotel estate while his own house nearby is being renovated.
"I've been practicing here and playing the course so it really is a home venue for me now," the Scot said. "It is most important I get into contention here.
"When I'm over the ball, I used to attack the pin. Now I don't have that confidence of where it's going to go. You're anxious. You want to find out where it's gone before you've actually hit it. You're looking up, not completing the backswing."
In the absence of bigger names, the top-ranked player at Gleneagles is Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson, ranked 44th. He finished 11th at Bridgestone and 19th at the PGA Championship.
"They were two solid weeks. I was very pleased as I didn't have my game where I wanted it when I played there," Wilson said. "I wasn't really putting well and my short game wasn't great. I wasn't swinging very good and my head wasn't there.
"Apart from that, I was feeling very good."


Updated : 2021-02-26 20:06 GMT+08:00