Ryder Cup must be held earlier - Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie is revelling in the headlines about his successful captaincy
By Phil Goodlad
Colin Montgomerie believes that future Ryder Cups in Europe must be held earlier in the year to avoid the rain delays experienced at Celtic Manor.
The Scot captained Europe to a dramatic 14½-13½ victory over the United States in Monday's late finish in Wales.
But he says lessons must be learned ahead of the Gleneagles event in 2014.
"When the Ryder Cup is played in Europe, I think we will have to go earlier than we did on this occasion," Montgomerie told BBC Scotland.
"Before we came down here, everyone said, look, it is too late.
"But I think we got very unlucky, because look at the weather yesterday.
Winning the Ryder Cup can only help anyone who plays in Europe and plays golf on the European Tour
European captain Colin Montgomerie
"Monday was a glorious, glorious day - it was almost 20 degrees.
"It was played out in pure sunshine, as blue as the scoreboards, the sky, which was super."
However, he believes that an earlier date must be found when the event returns to his Scottish homeland in four years' time after heading for Chicago in 2012.
And Montgomerie suggests that regaining the Ryder Cup will provide a welcome boost to golf throughout Europe.
"I think it was just great for all golfers in Europe, from us Scots to the Welsh here, to British, to all the golf clubs and all the golfers around Europe, it was a great, great day for us all," he said.
"To invite the Americans over here and to beat the Americans is always a delight for us.
"I knew the pressure involved and the responsibility involved in trying to win this Ryder Cup.
"We live in these economic times where it is difficult for so-called sponsorship for any sport, including our own, and that can only help anyone who plays in Europe and plays golf on the European Tour, it helps us all."
Montgomerie, who has decided not to stay on as European captain, admitted that he had come close to tears of joy but was pleased to have kept his renowned strong emotions in check.
"I read over my closing speech yesterday before I went on stage and I could not do it then, so I suppose I was almost there in the locker room before I had to go on stage and say those words afterwards," he said.
"But I managed to get those words out on stage, which was great.
"It is a very passionate thing that we call the Ryder Cup and I'm only glad that I managed to so-called bow out of the Ryder Cup with a win.
"I think it is quite emotional, of course it is, when you have that two years of preparation, two years of thinking of nothing else but the Ryder Cup.
"Thinking of the 12 players, thinking of the three picks that had to be done at Gleneagles a month ago, thinking about all the stuff that had to be done to win this Ryder Cup.
"And that was our goal - 14½ points. We toasted that, we saluted it, but I did not honestly think we would just get to that stage.
"I thought it might have been a little bit easier. Sometimes it is more dramatic when it happens that way. But, my god, the nerves were shredded at the end there."
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