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Colin Montgomerie backs Sandy Lyle for Ryder Cup captaincy

Eight times European No. 1 Colin Montgomerie will give his full backing to fellow Scot Sandy Lyle for Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup captaincy.

Montgomerie, who has ruled himself out of the job in two years’ time, told a news conference at the Belfry on Wednesday that Lyle, the only one of the ‘big five’ European major champions not to have captained, should “have his turn”.

Lyle’s peers—Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo—have all served as captains.

“It would be a shame if Sandy doesn’t get the chance,” Montgomerie said on the eve of the European Tour’s British Masters. “I think it would be only fitting if he does the job at Celtic Manor, as his four major colleagues have all done it.”

With Europe’s players meeting next week at the Dunhill Links Championship to discuss possible captains, Montgomerie will urge them to pledge their support for Lyle.

“There is no other outstanding candidate at this time,” said Montgomerie. “I don’t think (Jose Maria) Olazabal wants it and the others are not ready yet.”

The choice of captain will be made by the Ryder Cup committee next year around the time of the Abu Dhabi Championship in January.

Lyle has always been popular on the Tour, even if some commentators doubt whether he has the necessary leadership qualities to wrest the Cup back from the Americans. But Lyle can count on plenty of backers, not surprisingly including his caddie for his two major wins and several successful Ryder Cups, veteran Dave Musgrove.

“Sandy has the best credentials of any potential captain for judging how his players are playing and helping with their games,” Musgrove told Reuters. “And he’d soon get used to making decisions and speeches.”

Montgomerie is not interested in the captain’s job yet and is holding out for the role in 2014 at Gleneagles in his native Scotland.

Spaniard Olazabal, Nick Faldo’s deputy at Valhalla where Europe lost 16-1/2 to 11-1/2 earlier this month, is also ruling himself out to similarly try to make the team as a player.

Montgomerie has therefore already lined up Lyle, Olazabal in for the 2012 encounter in America, and himself two years later, as the next incumbents.

“When you look at the candidates it doesn’t take an Einstein to work out who the next three Ryder Cup captains could be,” he added.


September 25, 2008

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