• Ryder Cup

Monty: Keep Rory clear of Woods

ESPN staff
September 24, 2012

The Ryder Cup gets underway at Medinah Country Club on September 28. ESPN will have extensive coverage of the event - including interactive text commentary, reports and reaction - for all three days.

Colin Montgomerie has warned Europe's Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal to resist pairing world No. 1 Rory McIlroy with Tiger Woods when the sides meet at Medinah.

Much of the build-up to the 39th Ryder Cup has focused on the rivalry - or lack thereof - between the 23-year-old Northern Irishman and the man many believe he has replaced as the dominant force in world golf.

But while pitting the pair against one another in Chicago has the potential for fireworks, Montgomerie, who captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory at Celtic Manor in 2010, believes Europe would be best served by avoiding the match-up.

"I'd leave Tiger alone," the Scot told the Sun. "Everybody wants it to happen, but I'd want Rory to play someone else."

Montgomerie believes the atmosphere at Medinah will be electric, but also voiced concerns that emotions could spill over into gamesmanship, both from the players and fans around the Chicago course, the likes of which have not been seen at the Ryder Cup since the turn of the century.

"There is a risk the crowds will try to make it tough, which unfortunately was the case on the Sunday in 1999," Montgomerie added, referring to the 'Battle of Brookline', made famous by the American celebrations after Justin Leonard landed a birdie putt at the 17th on the final day..

"The world changed after that - the mood at the Ryder Cup and other sporting events when America played internationally changed after 9/11. But they want the Cup back badly."

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