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Casey backs Montgomerie captaincy

Paul Casey (left) and Colin Montgomerie (right)
Casey (left) said Montgomerie is passionate about the Ryder Cup

Paul Casey says the way Colin Montgomerie led Britain and Ireland to victory in the Seve Trophy shows he has the skills to be a Ryder Cup captain.

Casey was part of Montgomerie's Seve Trophy-winning team in 2007 and hopes to play for him again in the European team in the 2010 Ryder Cup.

"The Trophy's not as pressure-packed as the Ryder Cup but it gave an idea what he'll be like," Casey told BBC Sport.

"He looked after players brilliantly and the communication was superb."

He also said Montgomerie's enthusiasm for the tournament was a great strength.

"The passion you see him put in in a Ryder Cup - he comes alive and you'll see that in how he approaches his captaincy," he said.

We've had our little ding-dongs, but he is such a great person, and as captain, you would perform for him

England's Ian Poulter
"I can't wait to see how it develops and I want to get on that team and be part of the team that brings back the cup for Europe and for Colin."

Graeme McDowell echoed those sentiments, calling Montgomerie "a modern European Ryder Cup hero."

"He represents all that's good about European wins in the last decade or so," he said.

"He's led the team off in some great Sunday singles lately and knowing him as I do, it would be a real honour to get a chance to be on the team underneath him.

"He'll make a fantastic captain - he's in touch with the players and knows the players really well as he plays with us week in, week out.

"That's really important - he's got to know the guys he's picking. It's important that he pairs the guys right."

Justin Rose said he was slightly surprised to see Montgomerie given the captaincy now, but he did not doubt his ability.

"He was always going to be a captain - in my mind it was Gleneagles 2014 - but once you're given the opportunity you may as well take it, you don't know what will happen in the future," he said.

"The other obvious candidate was Jose Maria Olazabal. Looking ahead he'll be a good captain in a couple of years, so that was the obvious thinking right now."

Ian Poulter says Montgomerie will have "great respect from everyone" at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010.

"His record is very impressive in the Ryder Cup, and it's something people respect highly," said Poulter, the top points scorer at the 2008 event.

"We've had our little ding-dongs, but he is such a great person, and as captain, you would perform for him."

Poulter and Montgomerie were involved in a public spat before last year's Ryder Cup, with Montgomerie implying captain Nick Faldo picked Poulter as a wildcard because they were friends.

However, Poulter added: "He will be able to perform under pressure because he always has - I can't see why he would be any different as captain and you'd expect him to get the best out of you."

Five-time Ryder Cupper Darren Clarke, who was part of the 15-man committee which unanimously selected Montgomerie, believes the Scot's superb record in the event made him the ideal candidate.

Montgomerie has won 23 points as a Ryder Cup player, just 1 points behind the record held by Nick Faldo.

"He's got an incredible record in the Ryder Cup, he's been the Ryder Cup talisman for many years," said Clarke.

"He'll be very player-orientated, he'll take a keen interest in how the players are doing.

Poulter's fellow Englishman Oliver Wilson said the fact Montgomerie is still a regular on the European Tour would prove to be an advantage.

Monty is the obvious choice - Gallacher

"I think the Ryder Cup committee thought certain people were out of touch, but Colin still plays and knows the players really well," Wilson, who made his debut in Valhalla last year, told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He knows the guys' games, so preparation will be easier and everyone will feel comfortable dealing with him.

"There's nothing a captain can do out on the course, it's down to the players. But when you're playing against world-class opposition, if you get the pairings right you have a bit more confidence to do your job.

"A few mistakes were made in Valhalla, some of the pairings were not ideal. Certain players are made for foursomes because they're so steady, and others are made for fourballs because they're long hitters and make lots of birdies.

"Colin Montgomerie has a lot of experience, is very charismatic and will do a great job. He'll bring the team together and bring individuals belief."

Europe's 2002 captain Sam Torrance believes Montgomerie's love affair with the Ryder Cup will help his compatriot tackle what he concedes will be a tough job in Wales.

"It means more to him than any other event, and with his wealth of experience, he'll make a great captain," said Torrance.

Torrance applauds Monty choice

"Colin will do whatever is necessary with the players, whether it be bringing them down or picking them up. He'll do anything that is asked of him, and that's imperative."

Montgomerie will continue to play on the European Tour right up until the tournament, and Torrance believes that could help rather than hinder his captaincy.

"Colin has taken that decision and if he wins five tournaments then it would create no problems," said Torrance. "Instead, we'd just have a great player as captain."

Montgomerie, an eight-time winner of the European Order of Merit, will go up against Corey Pavin, who was named as the United States captain for the 2010 event in December.

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see also
Monty's Ryder Cup career
31 Aug 08 |  Golf

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