Montgomerie says Westwood's plea changed his mind

Europe captain Colin Montgomerie has admitted to a late change of heart over who would hit his team's opening drive in the Ryder Cup.

Montgomerie's initial choice to go out first in the opening fourball series Friday had been Northern Irish pair Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. But after an impassioned plea from Lee Westwood, the captain said Thursday he "decided to give him that honor."

"Saying that Rory and Graeme would go out first was not a red herring," Montgomerie said. "That had been my intention all along until two days ago.

The captain says his players knew their opening partners a week ago, but weren't told the order for fourballs and foursomes.