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Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Sunday, 26 September 2010 09:16 UK

Ryder Cup 2010: Man-management is test - Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie believes he can cope with the pressure of captaincy

European captain Colin Montgomerie said the man-management of his players will provide the biggest test at this week's Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Montgomerie played in eight Ryder Cups but takes charge for the first time in Wales from Friday.

Asked how he knew he could man-manage, Montgomerie told BBC Radio 5 live: "I don't, and Ryder Cup captains of the past have had the same problems.

"We get the job through our golf and not through our management skills."

Speaking to Sportsweek, the Scot added: "At the same time, I've been learning from the six captains that I've played under, three of which were Bernard Gallagher, and I've learned a lot from all their positives."

Montgomerie, 47, has never lost in a Ryder Cup singles match and has a total points tally of 23.5, just 1.5 points short of Sir Nick Faldo.


But Faldo, who captained the European team in 2008 when they lost 18½-9½, drew some criticism after the defeat at Valhalla for not providing a spirit to inspire the team.

Earlier this week, US Open champion Graeme McDowell revealed that there was a flat mood among the team two years ago.

"We just didn't have that X-factor in terms of someone to get up and rally the troops - that extra spark in the team room was missing," he said.

Montgomerie, however, is hoping that his enthusiasm for the event will rub off on the rest of his team as they seek to wrestle back the trophy from the USA, led by skipper Corey Pavin.

"I enjoy the Ryder Cup format and competition and generally in life if you enjoy what you do, you are usually quite good at it," he said.

"I will try to get that enjoyment over to the team so they can enjoy themselves and play to their potential."

The Scotsman also revealed that he had already penned two speeches for the presentation ceremony, one for victory and one for defeat.

He could not bring himself to refer to the latter as a losing speech, however, and said: "I hate to use that term.

"I've had to prepare a runner-up speech, or the non-winning speech. If the result doesn't go our way I think it's very important to prepare.

"Losing with dignity is the only way to do it, but hopefully nobody will ever hear that speech. The winning speech starts off with how proud I am of my team and the losing speech starts off with how proud I am of my team."

Montgomerie will be assisted at Celtic Manor by Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Sergio Garcia and Thomas Bjorn.

"I've got four great vice-captains behind me and a team that is motivated like never before. Having lost the Ryder Cup in 2008 it's our job to win it back in front of a home crowd," he said.

"I've been speaking to the players and it is important to get them relaxed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before it all starts on Friday. I think they are going to enjoy themselves and the motivation will keep them going.

I know being captain is very different but I'm sure he'll do a great job

Luke Donald on Colin Montgomerie

"I'll take anything that is thrown at me whether it is criticism or positive and I'm looking forward to the whole week in general and I can't wait to welcome my 12 players and vice-captains."

One of Montgomerie's wildcard picks, Luke Donald, also told Sportsweek he thinks the Ryder Cup veteran can make a positive impact on the team.

"Monty has a lot of passion with the Ryder Cup and has been there many times and knows the ropes," said Donald.

"I know being captain is very different but I'm sure he'll do a great job. He has a great mentality for it and is fun and light-hearted off the course and I think that will make the guys feel relaxed in the team room."

After missing out on playing in 2008 when overlooked by Faldo for a wildcard, Montgomerie insists he would still like to play again in the bi-annual event, even though he will be 49 in two years' time and has not won a tournament for three years.

"I've played for 20 years in the Ryder Cup and it's been a big part of my life," he added.

"Possibly those days are behind me but I'd like to think not, but you have to be realistic. I will be trying for the 2012 team but the competition has got so good this time, that there are 12 much better players who could do a better job than I could.

"It's getting more difficult and there is no European captain who has gone back to qualify for the event but first I've got to get my game back in shape and if I could do that I would love to play again."

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see also
Bjorn hails Montgomerie captaincy
24 Sep 10 |  Golf
Europe favourites for Cup - Pavin
18 Sep 10 |  Golf
All Manor of decisions for Monty
25 Aug 10 |  Golf
Monty denies rejecting Faldo help
27 Jun 10 |  Golf
Monty to lead Europe at Ryder Cup
28 Jan 09 |  Golf
Europe missed Monty - Gallacher
22 Sep 08 |  Golf
Faldo proud of team despite loss
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
US secure emphatic Ryder Cup win
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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