Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Montgomerie gets behind McGinley

Paul McGinley, left, was vice captain to Colin Montgomerie, right, at the 2010 Ryder Cup

After missing out on being recalled as Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has given his support to Paul McGinley and offered to help in any way he can.

McGinley got the nod at Tuesday's European Tour tournament committee meeting in Abu Dhabi, the Dubliner seeing off Scottish trio Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie and Sandy Lyle, and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez to land the coveted position.

But Montgomerie, who led Europe to victory in Wales three years ago and became a late contender for the job after Tom Watson was put in charge of the Americans, said: "I'm not at all disappointed - it would have been a dream come true, but it has not happened."

He added: "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 vice-captain (in the Ryder Cup).

"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 lives only a few miles from Gleneagles and is bound to be on the list of possible assistant captains for the match in September next year. Asked if he had any bitterness about the way things turned out the 49-year-old replied: "Goodness no. It's nothing to do with that."

As for whether he might ever again be in the running for the job Montgomerie added: "Only if we keep losing and I do a Tom Watson and come back!"

Watson is back in the role 20 years on from when he led the United States to their last victory on European soil and will be 65 come the match. No captain on either side has been older than that. Europe have won five of the last six matches and seven of the last nine.

McGinley paid tribute to Montgomerie and revealed the Scot had been quick to congratulate him on his appointment.

"He was the first man I saw, he came up and congratulated me warmly and wished me the very best of luck," he said on Radio 5 Live. "He was very, very gracious to me."