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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 16:52 UK

Ryder Cup 2010: Players are not banned from tweeting

38th Ryder Cup
Venue: Celtic Manor, Newport Date: 1-3 October Starts: 0745 BST on Friday Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live & online, live text commentary online & daily highlights on BBC TWO. Live on Sky Sports 1

Montgomerie explains tweeting ban

Europe's Ryder Cup team are not banned from twittering during the competition, according to captain Colin Montgomerie.

On Monday both Montgomerie and United States skipper Corey Pavin said they had asked their players not to use Twitter until the tournament was over.

But Montgomerie has since clarified his crackdown, insisting it only applies to secrets from the team room.

"Whatever they do, whatever they are, respect is shown for what is said within the team room," he said.

"They can do whatever they have to do elsewhere regarding, you know, their thoughts and what have you.

"But at the same time, whatever is said within that team room stays within that team room so they respect that decision."

Speaking ahead of the Ryder Cup on Monday, Montgomerie had said that tweeting and writing on social network sites could "get one into trouble".

He said: "It's not a ban as such, we've just asked the players not to and they agreed."

Red-eye Pavin faces media glare

England's Ian Poulter had, however, said Montgomerie had not banned Twitter and he continued to post updates.

US Open winner Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy had also uploaded photos of each other on McDowell's plane on the way to Cardiff on to their Twitter pages.

Now, having been asked by the media for his final comments on the ban, an exasperated Montgomerie has said tweeting has not been banned.

"Banning things is very dangerous, because, say, someone does it, how can you then say anything?" he said.

"I thought I was the captain of a golf team, not the captain of a tweeting organisation."

Both Poulter and McDowell have backed Montgomerie following what has now been dubbed 'Twitter-gate'.

"He trusts us not to do something stupid," McDowell stated. "There have been some pretty bad mistakes made on Twitter in the past few months."

Recently, cricketers Kevin Pietersen and Dimitri Mascarenhas were both fined for rants on Twitter.

Footballers Jozy Altidore and Darren Bent have also been in trouble for ill-advised public comments, while swimmer Stephanie Rice lost a sponsorship deal and was forced to make a public apology for an allegedly homophobic comment on Twitter.

Other Ryder Cup players who tweet include Europe's Francesco Molinari and US team tweeters Stewart Cink, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson.

Speaking on Monday about the US Twitter ban, skipper Pavin said: "The team has come to a consensus not to do it.

"It can be a little bit distracting sometimes, and I think it is important to focus on the Ryder Cup and playing in the matches.

"We've decided to not tweet this week, but a week today I am sure tweeting will be all over the place."


Europe are odds-on with some bookmakers to regain the Ryder Cup, but Montgomerie does not believe the contest will be one-sided.

"These matches will be closely contested as they always are," added the Scot.

"It will probably come down to a Sunday putt and that's the beauty of this Ryder Cup.

"It will be extremely tight, extremely close, and that's great for the event."

When asked why he opted not to take advantage of his right to alter the course to suit the Europe team, Montgomerie said that Celtic Manor already favoured his men.

"If, as has been said, it's a European Tour set-up then it's to our advantage," he added.

"Our players will be used to the pace of the greens. This is a course where a good shot will be rewarded and a bad shot penalised."

Earlier, Montgomerie had welcomed world number one Tiger Woods and the rest of the US team as they got off the plane in Cardiff.

The 47-year-old expressed his delight that Woods had been given a wildcard, following a poor season which has seen the world number one fail to win an event.

"I've always said that Tiger is the best player in the world, and in my opinion the best player that has ever played the game," said the Europe captain.

McDowell 'expects' McIlroy pairing in Ryder Cup

"I am delighted to see Tiger here. We welcome with open arms. It is the first time he will have played golf in Wales as a professional, and we just look forward to seeing him play.

"A lot has been written about Tiger's performances in the Ryder Cup. It's just that it is poorer than of course his individual record, which is extreme.

"We look forward to seeing how Tiger is going to be playing and who he is going to be playing with, and seeing how we can counteract that, I suppose.

"It's great that he is part of the team, and I congratulate Corey on his selection."

The skipper also allayed fears over the fitness of Europe player Lee Westwood.

The world number three has not played since the Bridgestone Invitational seven weeks ago because of a leg injury.

"Lee played 36 holes in a day over the weekend and can cope," said Montgomerie.

Sweden's Peter Hanson, who pulled out of last weekend's Vivendi Cup with a chest infection, is also set to be fully fit for the three-day contest.

Montgomerie predicts tight Ryder Cup

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see also
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US golfers arrive for Ryder Cup
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Coach Flower opposes Twitter ban
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Golf on the BBC
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