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Colin Montgomerie continues to fire shots in advance of this year's Ryder Cup, saying the event will be "diminished" if Tiger Woods doesn't play.

Speaking in advance of the Dubai Desert Classic this week, Montgomerie was of generous spirit toward Woods, but there's also a bit of subtext at work if you're so inclined to look.

"I do think it will be diminished if he doesn't play, but at the same time that's up to him and America," Monty said. "Any event he enters is a bigger and better event because of him, and I hope he does play."

Nice, right? Except that the Ryder is all about gamesmanship, and Monty is smart enough to know what he's doing right there. First off, he completely undercut the U.S.'s victory in 2008, which was achieved without Woods. If you were so inclined, you could also see it as a shot at 2008 captain Nick Faldo, who was unable to defeat a Tigerless America.

Monty also notes that the decision for Woods to play is "up to America," or, more properly, American captain Corey Pavin. If Woods comes back before the Ryder, does Pavin hold Woods out because of ... well, whatever? Of course not, but considering how insane the Ryder Cup crowds can be, Tiger will put up with metric truckloads of crap from the European galleries.

Still, that should only encourage him even more. And Monty appears hellbent on making this the most awesome-quote Ryder Cup ever. Can't wait. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Woods absence would diminish Ryder Cup [Reuters via Yahoo! Sports]

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