Colin Montgomerie is determined with three weeks to the Ryder Cup to stay out of the way of European Team captain, Jose Maria Olazabal.
For starters, Olazabal’s hung out the ‘closed shop’ sign and is turning down any pre-Ryder Cup interviews as he focuses, firstly on winning this week’s BMW Italian Open, and then last minute Medinah incidentals.
Only three players – Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Scotland’s Paul Lawrie – will join Olazabal on the September 24th departing direct flight from London Heathrow to Chicago’s O’Hara Airport.
But then some 400 officials will be travelling from Europe to the Windy City.
The remaining nine European Tour team members are living or will be in the States next week, and with Luke Donald bizarrely enjoying home town advantage among the 24 players given he lives just 45 minutes from Medinah.
Monty revealed he’s been invited, but also has politely declined, three official functions afforded as the immediate past European Captain – the Opening Ceremony, the Gala Dinner and the Closing Ceremony.
“I’ve been invited to all three events but then I am commentating for SKY on the Opening Ceremony, so I can’t be in two places at one time,” said Monty.
“I’m afraid I will leave the Gala Dinner to the teams as I don’t want to be part of that.
“Again, the Closing Ceremony I will be commentating, so I have politely declined all three.
“That’s not my role and I don’t want to get in the way of Ollie as it’s his week, as it is for Davis (Love 111), so it’s not a week for former captains.”
BMW Italian Open organisers have also played ball grouping Monty with 2002 PGA winner, Rich Beem and 2011 Dunhill Links champion, Michael Hoey for the first two days.
Olazabal will partner former Ryder Cup stars Thomas Levet and Costantino Rocca while the only three 2012 Ryder Cup members – Francesco Molinari, Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts – will play together the first two days in Turin.
Monty is among nine Scots competing in Turin but both he and Helensburgh’s Gary Orr are struggling with leg injuries.