Faldo: 'Montgomerie chose pairings too early'

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The Independent Online

Sir Nick Faldo may be the much-maligned former Europe captain, but that has not stopped him from criticising the first moves of his successor. Colin Montgomerie, he says, has acted too rashly in telling his players the partnerships for Friday morning's opening fourballs.

"It was too early to decide on the pairings because you never know what is going to happen in practice in the build-up to the competition," said Faldo. "As a captain you have to be open to change."

Many might be baffled by Faldo's comments, seeing as on the second morning of practice two years ago he was pictured by photographers with his pairings written down. He insisted that was just the "sandwich list" but in the event the same four foursomes were clobbered 3-1 in the opening session. So whether Monty will be much bothered by his doubts is dubious.

Yesterday Montgomerie was at Celtic Manor walking the course with the director of golf, Jim McKenzie. A group of his players including Ross Fisher and Francesco Molinari have been familiarising themselves with the layout these past few days and more are expected there today before the Americans arrive on Monday lunchtime.

However, Padraig Harrington will not be an early arrival as he tries to recover from a second-round 74 which left him off the pace at the Vivendi Cup.