Abu Dhabi - A day after missing out on Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy, Colin
Montgomerie says he's not bitter and is fully behind the choice of Paul
Montgomerie, the winning 2010 captain, emerged as a late candidate after
Darren Clarke pulled out of contention for the job, preferring to
concentrate on his own game. But the 49-year-old Scotsman was opposed by
several players, most notably No 1-ranked Rory McIlroy who felt he
wouldn't be motivated to win a second Ryder Cup.
Speaking ahead of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Montgomerie said he
was "flattered" to be considered and said he didn't campaign for the
"I wasn't in the picture until a week before Christmas when I heard of
others that felt there was an opportunity for me to captain the team at
home in Scotland, which would have been a dream come true," Montgomerie
said. "It hasn't happened ... I haven't pressed this in any way so I was
flattered in many ways to be in that position."
Asked if he was bitter about not being chosen, the Scotsman said "goodness no, nothing to do with that at all."
Montgomerie said that McGinley was "definitely" the right man for the job.
"He was voted upon by the committee who run this tour," Montgomerie
said. "As a man manager, he is very good and thorough. Preparation is
what is required. He will do a very good job."
Along with his 2010 captaincy, Montgomerie represented Europe eight
times as a player, becoming in 2006 the second European to win the
contest five times. He was top scorer at The Belfry in 2002 with
four-and-a-half points out of five, and holed the winning putt at
Oakland Hills in 2004.
The fifth-ranked Justin Rose, also playing in Abu Dhabi, said he felt
the push for Montgomerie didn't make sense. He said he backed both
Clarke and McGinley and was firmly behind the 46-year-old Irishman once
"Monty came into the picture to combat the big name of (US captain) Tom
Watson, and I felt like maybe that's something that the European Team
didn't need to do," Rose said. "I felt like we have a pretty good thing
going right now in the Ryder Cup and there was no need to counter the US
He also echoed other players in saying that McGinley would be a perfect
leader in 2014. McGinley has been on three Ryder Cup-winning teams
-holing the 10-foot winning putt in his Ryder Cup debut at The Belfry in
2002. He was also vice-captain for Europe in 2010 and for the
improbable comeback win last year at Medinah.
" I've only ever been around Paul, really, in The Ryder Cup. I haven't
been around Monty in The Ryder Cup," Rose said. "So that was for me what
I was judging my decision on. And I felt I had quite a lot of
conversations with Paul at Medinah. Just thought that he went about
things very thoroughly. And tactically, I believe that he'll make some
very good decisions."
McGinley also got a vote of confidence from Tiger Woods, who will likely
be on the American team when the two sides meet at Gleneagles,
"I've got to get to know Paul pretty well over the years and more so
over the last two Ryder Cups given his role as a vice-captain," Woods
said. "He's going to make a great European Ryder Cup captain as I've
seen for myself how popular he is and how well he's liked by everybody.
So I can see Paul being a good rival to Tom (Watson), and our American
team will need to give him every respect given also he's got such a
great record for Europe."
Watson, who was chosen as United States captain last month, will be 65
when the event starts making him by far the oldest man to fill the role
and the first repeat captain for the US since 1987. But he's also the
last American to lead the team to victory outside the US - in 1993 -and
he knows how to win in the blustery Scottish weather.