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Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 13:04 UK

Montgomerie tips Olazabal as next European captain

Graeme McDowell

McDowell heroics secure Europe win

Colin Montgomerie has tipped Jose Maria Olazabal to succeed him as European team captain after standing down in the wake of his side's Ryder Cup victory.

"I hope Jose Maria will be well enough to be the next captain," said the Scot.

Olazabal, who had wanted the job for the 2010 event, confirmed his acute rheumatism would be the only thing to prevent him accepting the captaincy.

The United States will attempt to avenge their 14½-13½ defeat at Celtic Manor in Medinah, Chicago in 2012.

"It was between him and me for the captaincy this time and in two years' time he'll be 46, just a year younger than I am now," said Montgomerie.

A key reason Montgomerie was appointed in the first place was because he was still active on the European Tour, while two-time major winner Olazabal has appeared in only one event this season.

"There is just one issue and that is my health. I would love to do it, but you have to fulfil certain things," said the Spaniard.

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"You need to be close to the players and play with them during the qualifying process."

Despite his health problems Olazabal remains favourite to skipper Europe in 2012 and, according to Padraig Harrington, who won two of his four matches in Wales, he has the support of the players.

"I think Olly would be all the players' choice," he said.

"Olly has had a great Ryder Cup career, he brings a lot of passion to the game and he looks like he'd make a great captain but it's a tough job."

Bernard Gallagher, Europe's captain in 1991, 1993 and 1995, also endorsed Olazabal.

"I think you need to take a big personality over there, somebody who has won two Masters, somebody who the Americans know. That all helps to give our team status." he told BBC Sport.

"He's got a great Ryder Cup record and he is getting to an age when he might not be playing much more. It would be almost a thank you from the tour."

Montgomerie has confirmed he had no intention of continuing in the role.

"I will not be doing this again," said Montgomerie, 47. "I think it's only right that it should be shared around."

"I felt out of control all week as a captain. It is very difficult to play every shot over the radio. I played every shot in every match, that's why this is a one-time hit."

Montgomerie appointed Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and Sergio Garcia as his vice-captains at Celtic Manor, with Olazabal added as a vice-captain on Friday.

While Olazabal could take over the reins from Montgomerie for the next edition of the event, McGinley is expected to become the first Irish captain at Gleneagles in 2014.

No captain has retained the job since Gallacher, who lost twice before leading Europe to victory at Oak Hill.

Since then Seve Ballesteros, Mark James, Sam Torrance, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo have all captained Europe once before stepping aside, regardless of the result.

However, Dane Bjorn, the chairman of the European Tour's tournament committee - the body that will decide the next Ryder Cup skipper - suggested last Friday that Montgomerie might be asked to stay on.

"We have a lot of potential captains coming along, but you could have a captain who fits the bill perfectly and we listen to our players," stated Bjorn.

"I'll listen to this team when it's all done and all settled down just to get a feedback from them - and so will all the guys on the committee."

Montgomerie, 47, emphasised the value he placed on guiding Europe to victory when he was asked if he would swap the experience for a maiden Major title.

"No, no, no, not at all. I have been playing 22 years of Ryder Cups, and this is the culmination of it," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I wouldn't swap any of my career for anything. This is the culmination of it, not just to play in the Ryder Cup, but to be a winning captain of it."

Prime Minister David Cameron sent his congratulations to Montgomerie and his team on a "stunning" victory.

"We will long remember the drama of the first ever Ryder Cup Monday played in the Welsh sunshine," said Cameron.

"Well done also to the crowd at Celtic Manor who more than played their part."



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see also
McDowell reflects on special year
05 Oct 10 |  Golf
Montgomerie revels in Europe win
04 Oct 10 |  Golf
McDowell seals Cup win for Europe
04 Oct 10 |  Golf
Proud Pavin hails US team spirit
04 Oct 10 |  Golf
Ryder Cup 2010: Monday photos
04 Oct 10 |  Golf
Europe launch Ryder Cup fightback
02 Oct 10 |  Golf
US edge rain-affected first day
01 Oct 10 |  Golf
Ryder Cup scores
30 Sep 10 |  Live scores
Ryder Cup A-Z
28 Sep 10 |  Golf


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