Who would Europe turn to in case of injury?

Rhys Davies of Wales during the first round of The Omega European Masters.


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NEWPORT, Wales – Rhys Davies better hope his game is in shape. European captain Colin Montgomerie might just have to call upon the young Welshman to play in this year’s match if there’s an injury to a member of the European team.

One thing seems sure, Paul Casey doesn’t look a likely stand-in should one of Monty’s 12 men drop out.

Casey is on a cycling trip in the Canadian Rockies this week. Many feel the world’s seventh-best player should be here at Celtic Manor. Monty controversially left him off the team, choosing Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington and Edoardo Molinari instead as his three wild card picks.

Team Capsules

Team USA

Team Europe

Needless, to say, Casey is the man who should step into the Euro side should there be a mishap to a European team member. (Both captains have until 3 p.m. on Thursday to name a replacement should a player have to withdraw because of injury.)

However, the European captain was reticent about saying who would step into his team if one of his players falls down a set of stairs, or damages a wrist while hacking out of the Celtic Manor rough in practice.

Strange, because Monty is on record supporting the idea of a reserve in case of injury. Montgomerie spent a good part of a press conference during the Johnnie Walker Championship espousing his belief that a Ryder Cup reserve should be named in case of those circumstances.

Monty made the suggestion due to Lee Westwood’s then predicament. Westwood has struggled with a calf injury since August and hasn’t played competitively since the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

Westwood has pronounced himself fully fit and ready to play every session if need be. Hence, Montgomerie’s change of heart.

“Lee Westwood has been in close contact with me over the last month,” Montgomerie said. “For that reason of his total, total return to full fitness, there was no need to have a so-called reserve that was talked about at Gleneagles when, of course, Lee’s position was not as good as it is now. So there was no need to go down that route.”

Yet Monty’s premise remains the same. Accidents happen to players all the time. Who’s to say there won’t be an injury this week?

Hopefully everyone will stay fighting fit, because Monty has no idea who would step into the team.

“I can’t say who it would be,” Montgomerie said. “I would have to go back to my vice captains and we would discuss the situation.”

Could it be that he asked Paul Casey and the Englishman told him where he could stick his replacement pick?

Just as well Davies is here at Celtic Manor, acting as Monty’s buggy driver. Monty might need him to perform more important duties.

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