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Colin Montgomerie takes over Royal Trophy captaincy

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie will also lead a European team against Asia in the 2010 Royal Trophy, organisers said on Thursday.

The Scot accepted the role after speaking with five-times major winner Seve Ballesteros, who had previously planned to lead the European effort himself.

A driving force behind the creation of the annual team matchplay competition between Europe and Asia, Ballesteros led the Europeans in the first two events.

The Spaniard was diagnosed with brain cancer in Oct. 2008, however, three months prior to his planned third consecutive captaincy and compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal replaced him as Asia beat Europe for the first time.

While Ballesteros has made great progress in his recovery, he still decided to call on Montgomerie to replace him this time.

“It is best for the players to have complete certainty as to who will lead them in this great match against Asia, and while my recovery has been very good, I am not certain that I will be ready to give our team the 110 percent effort it deserves,” Ballesteros said.

“The role of captain is complex, difficult and demanding and I sincerely thank Colin, my very good friend, for taking this major responsibility.”

Montgomerie said he was delighted to accept the invitation.

“It will be an excellent opportunity for me to spend time with some key players who are likely to be with me at Celtic Manor in October for the Ryder Cup,” he said in a statement released by organisers.

“I am excited about being European captain as well as representing our continent as a player.”

The fourth edition of the Royal Trophy will take place at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand from Jan. 8-10.


November 12, 2009

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