Northern Ireland phenom Rory McIlroy raised Ryder Cup captain Colin
Montgomerie's eyebrows--if not his ire--when McIlroy suggested the
Ryder Cup was an "exhibition" and not as important as individual
"The Ryder Cup, it's a great spectacle for golf, but an exhibition at
the end of the day and it should be there to be enjoyed," McIlroy said at an Irish Open news conference. "I think if I
get on it, you know, you enjoy the week, and if you win or lose, it's a
great experience and you move on from it. In the big scheme of things,
it's not that important of an event for me."
When these comments were relayed to Montgomerie--Team Europe's 2010
captain and a Ryder Cup playing legend--Montgomerie said that McIlroy
will feel differently when he makes his first tee shot as a member of
"Rory will understand when; and it's not an if, I'm sure it's when,
whether it's this time or next time wherever it might be and he will be
a Ryder Cup player and he will understand the pressures involved and
the whole scenario of The Ryder Cup will hit him very hard, yes, and
he'll understand having not played in it and having not attended The
Ryder Cup as yet, in his life, and he'll understand what it's about
when he's part of that," Montgomerie said.
No one knows a feud like the famously prickly Montgomerie and he was careful not to start one with 19-year-old McIlroy.
"I haven't heard what Rory said, so
please don't start a big war against Rory McIlroy," Montgomerie said. "He's a great
player and he's a very exciting player and he's one of Europe's best
young talents that we've had for many, many a year, right? All I can
say to you is you ask me, is the Ryder Cup an exhibition, no, it's not
an exhibition, all right. So please don't say, and hopefully, that it
won't come from me, that Monty and Rory are having a war here. Please
don't say that, because I haven't said that, and all I've said is The
Ryder Cup is not an exhibition and it never will be."
McIlroy and Montgomerie are paired for the opening rounds Thursday and
Friday, so they'll have plenty of time to talk it out. In fact, when
you look at this field, which includes Padraig Harrington and John
Daly, it's clear that the European Tour is the event to watch this
weekend. (Sorry Valero Texas Open.)