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Monty the right man for job

Iain Carter | 15:41 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

"Circumstances rule men and not men rule circumstances," was said by a chap called Euripides in 484 BC if my trusty quotation link is accurate. Certainly the quote is apt to describe Colin Montgomerie's accession to the European Ryder Cup captaincy.

If Jose Maria Olazabal knew where he stood with his health, if he had felt able to accept the job when he was first mooted as a candidate, he would have succeeded Nick Faldo for the 2010 match at Celtic Manor.

But, as we all know, 'if' is a huge word and as the Spaniard prevaricated so the circumstances conspired to put Monty's name in the frame.

It all happened in the dramatic three-hour meeting in Abu Dhabi a fortnight ago when the question was asked: "Who is the best man for the job?"

Montgomerie's name was put forward and he didn't object. At that point the picture was radically altered and the Scot became the man for the job.

So will he be a success? Yes I believe he will. His attention to detail is Montgomerie's biggest asset for this role. Chatting to him after Europe's defeat at Valhalla it was clear he would have done things differently to Faldo.

Colin Montgomerie is revealed as Europe's next captain in Dubai

He had the stats to back up his theories and will know his players and the opposition inside out. He knows what makes a team tick and will relish trying to instil that next year in Wales.

Montgomerie will be pushing to increase the number of picks he will have from two to three (if he had his own way he'd want to pick all twelve but that's never going to happen).

We can expect detailed and insightful attention being paid to the set-up of the TwentyTen course. Monty was a big fan of Sam Torrance's leadership in 2002 and he'll be borrowing plenty of ideas from his fellow Scot.

The new skipper was the first to praise Torrance for putting his team one up with his speech at the opening ceremony - we can expect a blockbuster in stark contrast to Faldo's effort at Valhalla.

So yes, I'm a fan of his selection. The downsides seem few and far between. The Americans will try to exploit Montgomerie's perceived fragile temperament but I suspect he will be too cute to be caught out.

He will also provide a steady supply of stories in the coming months - there's no-one better at generating his own headlines in the game and that is just what golf needs in the current economic climate.

Olazabal's turn will surely come in 2012 and sadly for Sandy Lyle it looks like he will never get the chance to lead his continent. He certainly should have been given the honour, but his time has passed.

Circumstances did for Lyle, but they made Monty the man to lead Europe.

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