Colin Montgomerie has backed Bob MacIntyre for a place in Padraig Harrington’s Ryder Cup team after impressing at The Open.
The Scot, 24, finished in a share of eighth place at Royal St George’s after weekend rounds of 65 and 67 propelled him up the leaderboard.
And Montgomerie, a Ryder Cup captain in 2010, says he would consider picking MacIntyre despite his “rookie” status.
“That never-say-die attitude would be brilliant in the Ryder Cup,” he said.
Europe face a stern test if they are to hold on to the trophy in September against the much-fancied hosts at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, USA.
MacIntyre, now ranked 48th in the world, finished tied for sixth on his Open debut in 2019 and has made the cut in all seven of the majors he has contested.
In terms of the Ryder Cup race, he is up to ninth on the European points list and 11th on the world points list, with the top four on the former and top five not already qualified from the latter securing places.
Harrington will then choose three more ‘wildcard’ players.
Montgomerie, a Ryder Cup winner as a player and captain, said: “I was very, very impressed with Bob’s way of not feeling happy with where he was on the 14th tee [at The Open].
“He had just birdied the 13th to be three off the lead. As a youngster to attack, attack, attack; to try and get to two behind, I like that. I love that in him.
“And, I think that’s why he’s going to do extremely well. He’s not – as many of them are – satisfied with fifth, sixth place, ‘I’ll take the money and run’. No, Bob was going for that, he was going for an eagle on the 14th. I was impressed with the way he was trying to win that golf tournament.
“Harrington is looking for winners, he’s looking for people who will go for it, he’s looking for the Bob MacIntyres of the world. It’s difficult to pick a rookie in America, but if you are picking one, he’d be the one to pick.”
Montgomerie aiming to play in next year’s Open
Montgomerie, 58, will compete in the Seniors Open at Sunningdale this week and says a win would be up there with anything he has achieved in golf.
And central to that desire to top the leaderboard would be securing a place in next year’s Open at St Andrews on the 150th anniversary.
“It would be great to win,” he said. “We’re all here to do that and we all know if you do happen to win you get an invite to St Andrews which will be a real celebration of golf.
“Everybody wants to play there, I think it’ll be the biggest entry we’ve ever had for an Open Championship.”