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  Monday, 30 September, 2002, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Strange praises Monty
Sam Torrance and Colin Montgomerie savour the Ryder Cup win
Sam Torrance and Monty lap up the victory
US Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange led the praise for Colin Montgomerie after the Scot's barnstorming performance in Europe's famous victory.

Monty's near-perfect haul of four and a half points over the three days set the benchmark for the Europeans as they outplayed their US counterparts.

The man who has not been short of critics over the course of his career won over many at the weekend.

But Strange required no persuading about Monty's qualities.

He was number one for seven years and he has been again this week

Sam Torrance
"He is their leader. Seve (Ballesteros) was for a long, long time and now it's Colin.

"Every team needs a leader, not only by their play, but by the way they handle themselves and by the respect from their team-mates and peers.

"He's certainly that. Now that doesn't mean you are guaranteed to play well, but he played magnificent and not only led in the locker room, but also on the course.

"They take their cue from him and he certainly didn't disappoint. He enjoys it and the cream rises to the top when the heat is on."

Montgomerie's failure to win a major during his career has led to questions over his temperament.

But his weekend performance put paid to that and Strange added: "We tend to be a bit critical of people when maybe they've been unlucky and maybe just haven't performed well sometimes.

"How can you not say he has been a great player. You just can't do it."

Monty's own captain, fellow Ayrshireman Sam Torrance, was equally full of praise.

"He was number one for seven years and he has been again this week," said Torrance.

"Considering what he has gone through in the last few months, he is as good as it gets."

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