The Darren Clarke fiasco was a major factor in Colin Montgomerie’s successful push for three Ryder Cup picks.

The Scot, 45, confessed that he “felt sorry” for Clarke when he was snubbed for a wild card by Nick Faldo last year.

Darren Clarke at the K Club in 2006Hoping he’ll get it spot on for Celtic Manor in 2010, Monty said: “If I had been picking the side for America the last time, I would have liked one more pick and I am sure Darren Clarke would have been part of the team.

“That's one of the reasons why I wanted three picks. I felt sorry for Darren to be left out last year.

“I think Ian Poulter and Paul Casey proved themselves very well. Poulter was leading points scorer, so well done him.

“But I felt sorry for Darren having won twice not to be on the team somehow. I felt that experience was vital in America and that it was a shame. So that is one of the reasons why we are now at three picks and not two.

"I have always felt that the more options you have in life the better you are. And I didn't want to have a scenario of having three of the nucleus of my team and only being able to pick two.

"I got what I wanted. I'm just concerned about getting the strongest team and having one more option might just allow me to do that.

Faldo had just one vice captain at Valhalla last year when he US ended their nine year victory drought with a massive, five-point win.

Jose Maria Olazabal was his right hand man while his other "helpers" were his son Matthew and DJ Spoony.

But Montgomerie will have at least two assistants, revealing: “It is now in the contract with Ryder Cup Europe that we must have a minimum of two vice captains. It will be at least that.”