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Montgomerie tells of fall out with Price

Colin Montgomerie has revealed how he and Phil Price were at the centre of a behind-the-scenes bust-up on the eve of the Ryder Cup.

Monty's revelations come in his new book and could have affected European morale before the showdown with the United States.

In the end the two men made up and each went on to star in Europe's win, Montgomerie getting most points and Price famously defeating Phil Mickelson.

The fall-out came, Montgomerie reveals in the book, after he poached Price's caddie Andy Prodger.

Fiery Scot Montgomerie snaffled the services of Price's trusted bagman Prodger at the Benson & Hedges International Open last May.

But the Pontypridd star was kept in the dark about the defection, only learning about it when his wife Sandra asked Prodger in passing if he was about to desert his man.

Montgomerie admits that only Price's "pro-fessionalism" prevented a lasting rift that could have damaged team spirit for the clash with the Americans.

"Phil was not happy with what had happened behind his back, but he was very professional," writes the Scot in The Real Monty.

"I apologised profusely and, hurt though he was, he accepted that I had set out to do things the right way."

But Montgomerie admits he felt awful when he bumped into Price and Prodger on the practice range shortly after making his approach to the caddie and pretended nothing was afoot.

"The week at the Belfry was not easy," he admits. "I had to walk past Phillip and Andy on the practice range one day and although three of us said `good morning' I felt an absolute cad and I would imagine that Andy wasn't very comfortable either.

"Andy said he'd speak to Phillip on the Sunday once the tournament had finished and that it would be no bad thing if I were to say something to him that night.

"That seemed to be the best way out of tackling what is always a potentially awkward situation."

In the end though, the news came out in the most inappropriate way.

"The press had wasted no time in speculating who would get my bag," writes Montgomerie.

"The rumours continued and various players were asking their caddies if they were about to leave.

"It was on Friday evening, after Phillip had signed off for the night at three under, that Sandra said to Andy, `You're not off to caddie for Monty are you?'

`Actually, I am,'" he returned.

"When he arrived at the club on Saturday morning, a member of Phillip's management team was waiting for Andy. He said his services were no longer required.

"Phillip, who used Pierre Fulke's caddie that day, left a message on my phone that evening which I didn't receive until later.

"He wanted to discuss the situation and we agreed to meet for breakfast the following morning."

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