Montgomerie shows Ryder form

With the possible exception of the 20,000 cardiologists who are descending on the city for a conference this weekend, few conversations are being conducted here that do not involve the latest theories as to who is in Bernhard Langer's mind for his two Ryder Cup wild-card selections.

With the possible exception of the 20,000 cardiologists who are descending on the city for a conference this weekend, few conversations are being conducted here that do not involve the latest theories as to who is in Bernhard Langer's mind for his two Ryder Cup wild-card selections.

About the only two people to avoid the subject yesterday were two of the most prominent candidates, Colin Montgomerie and Luke Donald, who just happened to be playing together in the first round of the BMW International at Nord-Eichenried.

"Very briefly, at the beginning, before we even teed off," Donald replied when asked if any Ryder Cup talk had taken place. "He just said: 'Do you think we are OK?' I didn't know at first what he was going on about, but I said: 'I hope so'."

Montgomerie's version of the conversation suggested the young Englishman had got the wrong end of the stick. "I meant whether it was going to rain or not," the Scot insisted. "I would never, ever say something like that on the first tee. I'm far too professional."

It was a delicious exchange at a time when everyone's words are analysed for double and triple-speak. Whatever the truth of the matter, Donald went out and scored a 68 while Montgomerie had a 67.

Retief Goosen, playing for the first time in a month due to a pelvis injury, led the way with a 66. The South African is rarely distracted at the best of times and does not have to concern himself with the closing dramas of Ryder Cup qualifying.

Paul McGinley, in 10th place on the standings, kept his form going with a 70 but the two men above him who are also yet to secure their places, David Howell and Ian Poulter, both had 73s. Alex Cejka, another in contention for a wild card, started well with a 68.

Nord-Eichenried is known as a low-scoring venue but with the rough up, and wind and rain around, conditions were difficult.

It was a round of old for Montgomerie as he did not drop a stroke, one of only two players to keep a bogey, or worse, off his card.

On the second half of his round, from the first to the ninth, Monty took only 12 putts. The score was made when he hit a wedge to four feet at the fifth, a three-wood on to the green at the next to set up an eagle, and two three-irons and a wedge into the par-five ninth for another birdie. Donald, who has a wonderful tempo and balance in his swing, appeared to have hit his driving iron sweetly at the sixth but just came up short in the pond. It turned a possible birdie into a bogey-six.

Why John Daly, who also scored a 67, has never appeared in the Ryder Cup is a mystery only a half-a-dozen American captains can answer. He certainly did not lobby Hal Sutton. "I don't kiss anybody's ass to get something," he said. "I appreciate the fans and the media talking me up but I think it pissed Hal off."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
books
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

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot