Langer faces selection headache as Cup hopefuls prosper

Whether Colin Montgomerie makes the Ryder Cup team or not, and it would have to count as a shock if it was the latter, the Scot thinks the European side will be the strongest from one to 12 that they have ever been. With the terrific battle going on here for the final places on the team to face the Americans next month, he is probably right.

"The pressure has been on this week but all credit to all the players who are in contention for the way we've played," Montgomerie said. "Whatever happens, we're going to have a very strong team. It shows there's quality throughout. It will be the most evenly strong team we've had."

Montgomerie is relying on being picked as a wild card by Bernhard Langer. The captain arrived in Germany yesterday and will have liked what he saw at Eichenreid, even if his decisions today will be all the harder. With blissful summer weather replacing the storms of earlier in the week, the scoring was as superb as it usually is here. Leading the way after 54 holes were Thomas Levet, whose 63 was one stroke outside the course record, and Miguel Angel Jimenez at 15 under par.

Both men are already looking forward to playing at Oakland Hills, along with Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke. It would take freak circumstances to knock out Paul Casey, so the threesome under the most pressure have been David Howell, Ian Poulter and Paul McGinley.

McGinley, who is in the last qualifying position, produced a 67 to lie 11 under par. The Irishman is playing in his 10th event in a row but knows he has to keep going for another day. Howell, who also scored a 67, and Poulter were both eight under par, which has not yet secured their places but has made it more difficult for everyone else.

Six players could have jumped into the team at the start of the week. Brian Davis and Jean-François Remesy missed the cut, Graeme McDowell trails down the list and the win he needs is out of sight, while Raphael Jacquelin and Joakim Haeggman may have too much to do.

Haeggman, at seven under, will need something special if he is to step up from being one of Langer's assistants to being the one asking for his shoes to be cleaned by the backroom staff. With the course so susceptible to low scoring, the situation may change quickly today, but the key to the riddle may be Fredrik Jacobson.

Jacobson, after a 68, was tied for fifth place, three behind the leaders. Had any of those in front of him missed the cut, it might have been enough to get him in the team, but as it is the Swede may have to finish in the top two to endanger Howell, Poulter or McGinley.

"I'm nervous just thinking about it," said McGinley, who has had a brilliant last month and will play alongside Jacob-son today. "I feel under the cosh. I'm playing better in this campaign than last time, but still I'm struggling to make the team. I want to make it and it is important for me to make the top 10. Bernhard is going to have some tough decisions. At least if I don't make it, I know I put in a strong performance, I didn't back off."

If Jacobson does not qualify, he must, as the fourth highest European on the world rankings, come into consideration for a wild card. Luke Donald and Alex Cejka will also be in the frame and were both at nine under. Montgomerie, however, has vast experience and his form is not a problem. Yesterday's 67 was his second this week in which he has not dropped a shot. At 12 under, three behind, his 39th career victory is still possible.

More to the point, the deter-mination he has shown here is exactly the quality that has earned the Scot such a distinguished Ryder Cup record. He may be the ideal case study for a conference of psychologists, but the cardiologists gathered in Munich this weekend will find nothing wrong with his heart.

"I would respect any decision that Bernhard makes," Montgomerie said. "He'll have worked it all out and whoever he picks will give him the best chance of getting 14 points. If it is me, I promise my form will be fine on the Friday morning of the Ryder Cup."

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup