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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December, 2004, 16:05 GMT
Monty shelves Ryder captain plans
Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie was Europe's Ryder Cup hero in September
Colin Montgomerie has withdrawn his name from the list of candidates to be Europe's next Ryder Cup captain.

Montgomerie, who won the Professional Golfers' Association Recognition Award for his services to the sport on Friday, wants to continue as a player.

"I've been told I'm too young (to be captain). And after hearing it I possibly have to agree.

"I think I can play in Ireland (in 2006) and possibly the next couple," said Montgomerie.

"My current world ranking (of 80) is ridiculous and I want to get back in the top 25 next year.

"I know I can, in fact I know I am a top-10 player really."

The highlight of Montgomerie's season was sinking the winning putt to win the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills in September.

The 41-year-old Scot considered running for the captaincy for the next match at the K Club near Dublin, but said "everybody" had told him he was too young.

If he says he wants to do it again then there's your captain
Colin Montgomerie
on Bernhard Langer
The European Tour's tournament committee, of which Montgomerie is a member, is expected to discuss the captaincy next Monday.

Its members will first have to decide whether they want to ask Bernhard Langer, who masterminded Europe's crushing 18-9 victory at Oakland Hills, to stay in charge.

Speaking at the PGA's annual benevolent fund-raising luncheon in London, Montgomerie said: "It's our job to select the captain who will win the thing.

"It's his to say 'no' to really and if he says he wants to do it again then there's your captain.

"I think he would be the Ryder Cup players' choice - nothing flustered him all week.

"It's not a ceremonial thing. Losing in Ireland is not an option.

"We have a golden opportunity to win three times in a row, which we've not done before."

Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle are all interested in taking over for the first-ever Ryder Cup match on Irish soil.

The Americans have already named Tom Lehman as successor to Hal Sutton.

Lehman was a central figure in the premature celebrations when the US won the cup in 1999.

Tough job

"I thought it was going to be either Mark O'Meara or Paul Azinger," said Montgomerie.

"We will see how he goes and we wish him well. He has a tough job to unify their team and to cope with a huge home support. I think the whole country will stop that week."

Montgomerie's immediate priority is to climb back into the top 50, as he currently does not have a place either in the Masters in April or the US Open in June.

"I think I've been caught up in the whole rigmarole of trying to hit the ball too far," he said.

"Straight counts for more. If I hit fairways I can hit greens and have a birdie putt.

"I've not done it often enough for four or five years and that is what has killed me."

Also recognised at the lunch was the European Tour's outgoing executive director, Ken Schofield, who is stepping down at the end of this month after 30 years at the helm.





SEE ALSO
Faldo ready for Ryder role
30 Sep 04 |  Golf
McGinley wants Irish leader
28 Sep 04 |  Golf
Lyle reveals Ryder interest
27 Sep 04 |  Golf
Woosnam bids for Ryder role
26 Sep 04 |  Golf
Langer offers Ryder hint
20 Sep 04 |  Golf


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