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Monty to lead Europe at Ryder Cup

Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie will not be a playing captain at the 2010 Ryder Cup

Colin Montgomerie has been named as captain of the Europe team for the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales.

The 45-year-old, an eight-time Ryder Cup veteran, was one of two leading contenders for the role along with 2008 vice-captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

"This is obviously one of my proudest moments," said the Scot.

"It is a huge responsibility having lost the last Ryder Cup. It is important we do everything we can to claim back the Ryder Cup in 2010."

Sandy Lyle and 2006 captain Ian Woosnam were also believed to be in the running to take the captaincy.

Thomas Bjorn, chairman of Europe's 15-man Ryder Cup tournament committee, said Montgomerie had been the unanimous choice.

"There was no vote involved," said Bjorn. "We went around the table and everyone seemed to back Monty. A very hard and difficult meeting turned out in the end to be a fairly easy one.

"I spoke to Jose, to Woosie and to Sandy, all three in person. All Jose said was that he thinks Monty will be a great captain. Olly is a great man, he is a very popular figure on this tour.

I will abide by the committee's decision but I think you'll find we'll go for one more captain's choice than we have in the past

Europe captain Colin Montgomerie
"I think for future Ryder Cup captaincies he [Olazabal] is someone that should be considered. There's a long way to go but I'm quite sure he will be a consideration for 2012 in Illinois."

Montgomerie, who was said to be keen to take on the role for the 2014 event in his native Scotland, confirmed he would like Olazabal to be part of his support staff.

He said: "It's quite obvious Jose-Maria will be part of my team at Celtic Manor. I have great understanding and respect for him."

Montgomerie said players, including Denmark's Bjorn, had influenced his thinking.

"I've been listening and taking heed of what they've been saying," he said. "It just seems the time is right for me to take the helm here and be captain."

Bjorn will also play a big role at Celtic Manor, even if he fails to qualify as a player. The Dane was part of the victorious European teams in 1997 and 2002 but is now ranked 213 in the world.

"I do respect him," said Montgomerie. "He did a wonderful job under Bernhard Langer in 2004 as captain's assistant and I would hope to use Thomas, if he doesn't qualify, in any way, shape or form."

Montgomerie is eager to increase the number of wildcards from two to three.

"I would like more options than we have now," said the Scot.

"We have committee meetings in Ireland in May, long before the qualification starts in September, and all those terms and conditions will be in place before qualification starts.

"I will abide by the committee's decision but I think you'll find we'll go for one more captain's choice than we have in the past."

US skipper Corey Pavin said old adversary Montgomerie would prove a sound choice.

"We have known each other for quite a long time and have competed against each other in a few matches. I am sure he will represent Europe very well."

Meanwhile, Glasgow-born Montgomerie ruled out any prospect of being a playing skipper next year.

"All the points I earn as a player for the Ryder Cup will be nullified," he said.

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"I will not in any way, shape or form come close to qualifying for the team. I am captain and very proud and honoured."

However, the eight-time winner of the European Order of Merit did add that if he continues to play he would fight for a place in the 2012 team.

Pavin was named as the United States captain for the 2010 event in December.

"He is someone I respect," Montgomerie said of his American counterpart.

"I've played three times in the Ryder Cup against him and managed to come out 2-1 at this stage.

"He is someone I respect and who holds the Ryder Cup without Tiger Woods playing on that occasion. Tiger will be back in 2010 so it will be very difficult and close."

In his eight Ryder Cups as a player Montgomerie helped Europe to victory on five occasions.

He has never lost a singles match and has a match record of 20 wins, nine draws and seven losses - giving him a total points score of 23.5, only 1.5 points behind the all-time record held by Nick Faldo.

Despite the impressive statistics, Montgomerie was not one of 2008 captain Faldo's wildcards for the Valhalla showdown, which Europe lost for the first time since 1999.

The Scot will be a popular choice in Wales, having supported the Celtic Manor Wales Open for several years, while also designing a course at the resort in Newport for owner Sir Terry Matthews.

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


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