Montgomerie says McGinley 'best man for the job'

Colin Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – You can always count on the European Tour coming together for the Ryder Cup, and that’s just what happened the morning after Paul McGinley was named as 2014 European captain.

If Colin Montgomerie was unhappy at being passed over in favor of McGinley, then he did a good job of hiding it. The 2010 captain said all the right things about McGinley’s selection.

"I’m not at all disappointed,” Montgomerie said. “It would have been a dream come true, but it has not happened. I was very flattered even to be considered again. It meant a lot to me. The selection process was such that they appointed the best man for the job.

"We all get behind Paul now and wish him well. I appointed him for the Seve Trophy, and he did a very good job, as he did twice as a (Ryder Cup) vice captain.

“He’s a very good man-manager and very good at assessing people’s strengths. I will be there to support and fly the flag for Europe.”

Montgomerie was in the frame for the job along with Sandy Lyle, Paul Lawrie, Miguel Angel Jimenez and, of course, McGinley. However, Montgomerie was the only serious threat to McGinley.

There were those who thought Montgomerie had the right status to match Tom Watson on the other side of the podium when the teams line up at Gleneagles, Scotland, not far from Montgomerie’s home.

Justin Rose was having no truck with that theory, and explained why in endorsing McGinley’s captaincy.

“I felt like maybe that’s something that the European team didn’t need to do,” Rose said. “I felt like we had a pretty good thing going right now in the Ryder Cup, and there was no need to counter the U.S. decision.”

As for what McGinley will bring to the captaincy, Rose was impressed with the Dubliner as a vice captain to Jose Maria Olazabal last year, when the Europeans rallied from a 10-4 deficit entering the final day to win. It convinced him the Irishman will get it right behind the scenes to let the players do their stuff on the Gleneagles stage.

“I had quite a lot of conversations with Paul at Medinah,” Rose said. “I just thought he went about things very thoroughly. Tactically I believe he’ll make some very good decisions.

“If you have good, solid fundamentals and decent tactics, the rest is up to the players.

“Paul has a sort of quiet calm. I don’t think he’s going to over-think things too much. He’ll go in very well prepared, that’s for sure.”

Rose joined Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald in publicly supporting McGinley’s bid for the captaincy. The fact so many of last year’s team supported McGinley meant the European Tour’s tournament committee had to choose the Irishman.

“The captain’s role needs to be basically to give the players the freedom and the confidence to go out there and do their thing," Rose said. "You want the players to be comfortable with who is calling the shots and who is making the decisions that week.”

So Rose and the main Ryder Cup players are comfortable with the decision, and Montgomerie has no hard feelings about not getting the job. Throw in a mood of general approval amongst Europe’s rank-and-file, and it all points to a smooth 18-month buildup for McGinley as he prepares Europe’s defense of the Cup won at Medinah just a few months ago.

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