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Bjorn's fiery nature will make him a great Ryder Cup captain, says Monty

By Phil Casey

Colin Montgomerie has backed Thomas Bjorn to be a success as Europe's Ryder Cup captain, saying the Dane was "the obvious choice".

Bjorn was yesterday confirmed as skipper for Europe's bid to win back the trophy from the United States in France in 2018.

The 45-year-old was one of Montgomerie's vice-captains when Europe regained the Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010, and the Scot felt Bjorn excelled in the role.

"Thomas was the obvious choice, and the right choice, to be captain in 2018," Montgomerie said.

"I saw first hand what he was like as a vice-captain in 2010, and he was exceptional. I used him possibly more than any other vice-captain at Celtic Manor.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve and I think that's important for the role. I wouldn't be worried about his combustible and fiery nature, that is good in a way. I think you need that to beat the might of the Americans.

"We need to win the Ryder Cup back in France, and I feel we've got the best captain to do that."

US Masters champion Danny Willett was part of the European team beaten 17-11 at Hazeltine in October.

He said: "Thomas is a well-respected man in our game and on the European Tour.

"From what I saw from him as vice-captain, he will make a fantastic captain."

Bjorn's three Ryder Cup appearances as a player all resulted in victories while he has been a vice-captain four times, including to Ulsterman Darren Clarke in Minnesota two months ago.

He was chosen by a five-man selection panel comprising the three most recent European Ryder Cup captains - Clarke, Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal - as well as European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and European Tour tournament committee member Henrik Stenson.

Bjorn said: "It's a huge honour for me to be named European captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. This is one of the greatest days in my career.

"I studied a lot of captains and always wondered what that feeling would be like to be the one leading out a team of 12 great players. Now it's my turn to do just that and it is an exciting moment for me.

"I have lived and breathed the European Tour for so long, and now I will do the same with the Ryder Cup for the next two years."

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