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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 12:41 UK

Lyle upset by Cup captaincy snub

Sandy Lyle
Lyle finished tied for 20th at the recent Masters on two under

Sandy Lyle says he feels let down by the European Tour after missing out on the captaincy for the next Ryder Cup.

Fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie has been selected to lead Europe at Celtic Manor in 2010, but Lyle does not understand why he has been overlooked.

"I was let down by the European Tour," the double major winner told BBC Scotland. "It's frustrating.

"I'm still mystified why they haven't pin-pointed any sort of qualities I'm lacking. I'd like to know."

They were Lyle's strongest words yet in response to the decision in January to choose Montgomerie for the captaincy and European Tour chief executive George O'Grady was singled out for criticism.

"I've not been as far forward at self-promoting as some players we know can be," said Lyle.

It'd be nice if I could play really well this next few weeks and be in the Ryder Cup team myself

Sandy Lyle

"I've always had it ground into me that you don't go out there blowing your own trumpet, you let your clubs do the talking and I think my clubs have done enough talking over the years as far as results, majors and experiences go, which is more than enough to be a Ryder Cup captain.

"I think George O'Grady probably could've supported me a bit more and made them realise how much I had done behind the scenes in supporting the European Tour for what they have now, which is a world tour.

"I would've given it a damn good shot and have some respect from the players."

Asked how angry he was about the situation, Lyle replied: "If you put it in a scale of one to 10, I'm probably on about a seven, but I shall not lose sleep over it.

"I'm a little cheesed off, yes. I don't mind saying that, I've got nothing to lose, but I will still sleep at night and I won't toss and turn in my bed all the time thinking, 'well, what have I done wrong?'

"I was prepared to be at tournaments and play a lot of the guys, get to know their names and get to know what they want and that's something a lot of captains haven't been able to do over the years.

"Monty's got a lot of work. I think he didn't realise how much commitment was involved to be the Ryder Cup captain.

"He has always been a player in the Ryder Cup, so it's a whole new ball game for him now and the microscope will be on him all the time and I hope he chooses well.

"In the end, no matter how good a captain you might be, it's all down to the players to win and make him as comfortable as possible. Hopefully, he might consider me as a vice-captain, but time will tell."

Lyle won the second of his two majors at the 1988 Masters and admits his form dipped the few years that followed, although he had an encouraging performance as he returned to the scene of those triumphs this season.

But Gary Player this week told BBC Scotland that he regarded Lyle as Scotland's greatest-ever golfer and he has tipped the 51-year-old to succeed Montgomerie for the 2012 event.

"I think Colin Montgomerie will be a good captain, he's been a good competitor," said Player.

"I think Sandy Lyle must be your next captain after Colin."

An extended interview with Sandy Lyle is available on Sport Monthly on BBC Two Scotland , Thursday 9 July, 1930 BST.



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see also
Player urges health drive in golf
07 Jul 09 |  Golf
Monty wants Ryder Cup rehearsal
04 Jun 09 |  Golf
Monty to lead Europe at Ryder Cup
28 Jan 09 |  Golf


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