European picks a closely guarded secret

Updated: August 27, 2010, 1:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, who is set to announce his complete team on Sunday, is being urged to keep his picks as close to the vest as possible to avoid tipping off gamblers, according to a story in The Independent, a British newspaper.

Montgomerie
Montgomerie

The Independent, citing a European Tour source, said Montgomerie may have to change his plan of alerting all of the players who are eligible for the three wild-card spots. The fear is gamblers will take advantage of any leaks with bookmakers who have offered odds on who might make the team.

"We don't want to leave ourselves in a position whereby we can have our pants pulled down by potentially unscrupulous insiders chasing a quick buck," a spokesman for Ladbrokes, a British bookmaker, told The Independent.

The newspaper cited the betting line when Montgomerie was named captain last year. The odds on Montgomerie went from 50-1 to 1-2 in short order, following a meeting where European officials coaxed Montgomerie into taking the job.

Because of that, a European Tour source told The Independent: "Everyone involved with team selection is on their guard -- and that goes all the way up to the captain."

A spokesman for Betfair, another European bookmaker, said its officials would monitor the betting lines throughout the day Sunday.

"In this instance we think it will be prudent to suspend the market after the final putt has been holed in the Johnnie Walker Championship [the final event before the announcement]," the spokesman said. "If for some reason the team is already known or we believe it has become known, we will suspend at the time."

Other bookmakers told The Independent they have similar plans.

Among the players Montgomerie is considering for his three wild-card spots: Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Edoardo Molinari.