Colin Montgomerie made an apology -- for something he knows he will have to do at the end of August.
Europe's Ryder Cup captain is already preparing himself for the calls he will be making to some star players telling them they are not on his team.
"I don't think any captain has had this dilemma before,â he said. "I unfortunately am going to have to leave out some very, very good players, some winners this year in America and/or Europe. I say now, I apologize for the fact, but I've got to because of the strength and depth that we have."
Qualifying for the European squad finishes on Aug. 29 and two majors and a world championship are among the tournaments still to come, but as things stand the following players would need one of Montgomerie's three wild cards:
--World No. 10 Paul Casey, who was ranked No. 3 at this time last year.
--World No. 15 Padraig Harrington, winner of two Opens and a PGA Championship.
--World No. 16 Justin Rose, twice a winner in America in the last five weeks.
--World No. 31 Robert Karlsson, Europeâs leading money winner two seasons ago.
--World No. 33 Henrik Stenson, who was up to fourth in the world 14 months ago.
--World No. 40 Alvaro Quiros, the biggest hitter in golf.
--World No. 44 Sergio Garcia, who was ranked No. 2 16 months ago.
--World No. 49 Rhys Davies, according to Montgomerie the best putter in Europe.
Montgomerie has never seen such strength in depth on this side of the Atlantic.
"Competition breeds success," he stated. "With Padraig Harrington's success, I think the standards have risen. They have all tried to emulate his success and we are looking with real confidence for European success at the Open. Who says they are not going to?
"I've never seen people practice so hard physically, mentally on every aspect of the game,â he added. "There's no question that we go into the Ryder Cup as favorites and I'm just honored to be their captain. It's very exciting times."