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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 05:02 GMT 06:02 UK
Monty upbeat about Ryder chances
Colin Montgomerie (right) and Britain's Ian Poulter
Colin Montgomerie tipped Europe to win an historic third consecutive Ryder Cup in 2006 following Britain and Ireland's Seve Trophy success over the weekend.

Montgomerie, who captained the side to a 16-11 win over Continental Europe, said: "I think we'll start favourites.

"I expect a few on this team that were not playing at Oakland Hills can look forward to playing at The K Club.

"And whoever is in the 12 has a great chance of playing on the first European team to win three cups in a row."

Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal both stuck up for European golf after Seve Ballesteros' disparaging remarks at the tournament at The Wynyard, near Middlesbrough, on Saturday.

Ballesteros said Tiger Woods was the last player to impress him "a couple of years ago" and added: "I don't see any players who really impress me from either side of the Atlantic."

But Montgomerie hit back: "There's much more strength in depth than there's ever been."

And Ballesteros' fellow Spaniard Olazabal added: "I believe the European team is strong - we have proved that."

Ballesteros subsequently claimed his comments were taken out of context.

And as each player finished their singles matches on Sunday, they were handed a letter from him.

In a statement, the former Ryder Cup captain said: "Certain comments have hurt everybody in the Seve Trophy event - the players, the officials, the golf club and the sponsors.

"I feel hurt personally because these reports are very unfair. To put words in my mouth that I didn't say is not fair.

"I have tremendous respect for all of the players taking part here and I am sure they will understand the position.

"We've had a fantastic four days watching the 20 best players in Europe, playing with great team spirit and passion."

Interview: Colin Montgomerie

Seve Trophy pro-am photos
21 Sep 05 |  Photo Galleries
GB & Ireland retain title
09 Nov 03 |  Golf
GB and Ireland claim title
21 Apr 02 |  Golf

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