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Seve backs Monty's Ryder Cup claim

Colin Montgomerie, who leads Great Britain and Ireland against Continental Europe in the second staging of the Seve Trophy in Co Wicklow today, admits that he has spoken to the powers that be in European golf about the possibility of captaining Europe’s Ryder Cup team against the United States when the match comes to Ireland in 2006.

Monty’s enthusiasm is still strong. Though he remains understandably reluctant to blow his own trumpet on such a sensitive subject, it’s significant that the Scot has made known to officials his preference for captaining Europe in Ireland.

"I can’t say it’s a goal of mine, but of course it would be a great honour if it arose," he said yesterday. "The last thing I want to do is start campaigning for that here and now. But yes, it is something I’ve thought about. I’ve spoken to officialdom about the situation and it’s been taken on board.

"But there won’t be any announcement (about the 2006 captaincy) until after the 2004 match in October of that year. So there’s a bit to go. Nick Faldo has been talked about for the next one and thereafter there’s myself, Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam. That seems to be the roll-call, if you like. But we’ll all have to wait and see what happens."

With Scotland not due to host the Ryder Cup until 2014, Montgomerie sees Ireland as the place where he would feel most at ease in the role. "You wouldn’t want to do it somewhere that you feel uncomfortable," he pointed out.

Seve Ballesteros believes that Montgomerie will make a fine Ryder Cup captain, and fancies that the experience of captaining GB&I will benefit him for the greater challenge to come.

"Colin has been part of the Ryder Cup team many times already and has been very successful as a player. I’m sure he will captain Europe soon," enthused the Spaniard. "I also believe the experience of leading GB&I in the Seve Trophy will stand him in good stead and that he will go on to be a fantastic Ryder Cup captain."

Monty knows there isn’t a wilier captain in all of team golf than the Spaniard and expects to be "terrifically on guard" over the next three days of greensomes, foursomes, fourballs and singles at Druids Glen.

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