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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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  • Comment number 1.

    Agree with everything you say Iain.

    As far as it goes.

    But don't you think you have a responsibility to specify some of the "differently to Faldo" things? There's so much implied criticism of Faldo, much of it well justified, but this and most of your articles are pure vanilla. Let's have some Ben & Jerry's flavours to your blogs, otherwise: What's the point?

  • Comment number 2.

    After the shambles of Nick Faldo's captaincy, Monty is definitely the right appointment for 2010 given that he is still playing regular tournament golf with those who will be on the team, and who he has played with in recent Ryder Cups.

    Will be interesting to see who will be the vice-Captains. Olazabal again definitely in preparation for 2012, but also Sandy Lyle? Weren't there reports that he did an excellent job in the role under Ian Woosnam? Perhaps he is better suited to this role rather than the main job itself. Won't be surprised if Bernhard Langer is involved somewhere behind the scenes as well.

  • Comment number 3.

    To be honest, he was the only choice. I am sad to see that my old hero, Sandy Lyle will miss out, but I am sure that Colin will put on a show and sell the Ryder Cup in these troubled financial times. Time to bury the hatchet with everyone and pick the best team as well as Vice Captains. Pick the brains of Tony Jacklin, Bernard Gallacher, Bernard Langer et al (including Nick Faldo & Mark James). You can learn as much, if not more from a beaten skipper as you can from a successful one.

    Good luck Mr Montgomerie!

  • Comment number 4.

    Good choice and nice to see Ian Poulter put their differences behind him and come out to support the appointment. Whether Monty will pick Poulter as a wild card if he doesn't qualify by right is, of course, another matter....

  • Comment number 5.

    Do you honestly think Mark James, and especially Nick Faldo, would actually own up to speciic mistakes?
    Faldo was like a deer in the headlights when Azinger was sitting next to him recently talking about things that Zinger had done to the US advantage. It was almost as if Faldo and his Europe team were playing a friendly, and the US the real thing.
    Right from the disingenuous rhetoric and double-speak over Captain's picks, through the speech and into the pairings, it was clear that Faldo was somehow oblivious to what was going on.
    Legendary golfer, competent commentator, failed Ryder Cup Captain, and I don't think he gets it.

  • Comment number 6.

    I certainly hope Monty is a good captain, but I'm not sure the signs are that encouraging. Monty is known for snapping at people on the golf course, and that's not exactly indicative of "leader of men" qualities. I also wonder if his outstanding record as a player on the European Tour and Ryder Cup (but never having won a major) almost work against him. Very often the best players don't make the best coaches as they don't have the perspective of needing extra motivation or coaching to perform at the highest level. They just achieve what comes naturally to them. Virtually none of the top managers in English football were also amongst the very best players in their day. The lack of a major also makes one wonder how he'll handle the pressure, although this of course was not an issue for him as a Ryder Cup player.

    Anyway, good luck to him and Team Europe!

  • Comment number 7.

    Congratulations to the players comittee. You have suceeded in humiliating one of the greatest players to grace the European Tour. Shame on all of you for not selecting Lyle. The reasons that have been punted by players in recent days only serves to illustrate the lack of logic to the whole farce. History will show that Mark James and Sam Torrance, two journey man pros got the nod and a twice major winner did not. I would be in favour of a process where the best man for the job got the job, but that has not been the critera for many year. This was the chance for the last of the five to get the nod and then the process could be driven on merit. It only shows the the selfish nature of those who have no intrest but their own intrest. Sandy Lyle's greatest crime is that he was not a naked self promoter that the new generataion of players have turned out to be. 'Lyle was not in touch with the new generation of players..' Was Woosnam? Don't think so. Faldo? Seriously? Those that make these comments have never won a major and hardly ever will be in contention to play golf under the greatest pressure. I have never, ever been so ashamed of golf as I am today. Lyle would have been a great captain and would certainly have shown greater intelligence that James and Torrance demonstrated at Brookline. Monty would have been the pick for Gleneagles. I wonder who has been penciled in for that gig, because believe me, someone has. If it is Thomas Bjorn who acted as a big baby in not being selected by Woosnam, well, I wonder how that bit of history will be re-written. The millionaires on tour today owe a hugh debt to Lyle. They just did not have the dignity to re-pay it.

  • Comment number 8.

    'Circumstances did it for Lyle...' How lame is that for a comment?What about a bit of perspective. Like, Monty has worked for Terry Mathews, ergo, the same 'fill your boots' mentality that has corrupted the event we call the Ryder Cup..

  • Comment number 9.

    I also, am ashamed that Sandy Lyle has not been selected. He is one of the real golfing greats, a great ambassador of European golf; the unassuming way he took on the best of the Americans on their own turf and came out on top on many occasions.
    What is Monty's reputation and credentials for the job. He has none; he has won little of note, is known a big time complainer, he has no reputation in the US as being one of the greats and he has been a joke on the European tour over the past 5 years. Yes a joke among all the younger players who have humiliated him by results on tour, and who will be "his" team members for the match in the US in 2010. The only bright spot on the horizon is that by appointing such a colourless figure as Cory Pavin as his opposite number, his chances have been slightly improved but, so has his chances of being completely humiliated when the US team defeats Europe.

  • Comment number 10.

    I have just created a profile in order to agree with points #7 & #9 in their ENTIRITY.

    Sandy Lyle was / is a hero of mine and should have been selected.

    Monty also deserves to be selected - at some point in time - for his services to the Ryder Cup alone ... but not now.

    The prospect of Bjorn being considered for such a role in the future APPALLS me.

    The arguments that Woosie, James and Torrance were "more in touch" with the players was also misplaced.

    The European Tour has missed a trick here ... who now for Gleaneagles in 2014 (because it should've been Monty).

  • Comment number 11.

    Your dislike for Colin Montgomerie is obvious as is your lack of logic. I suppose that players thought Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson and Seve were jokes too when age caught up with them. Get a grip.

  • Comment number 12.

    he'll be a disaster I'm sorry to say ...

  • Comment number 13.

    In Colin Mongomerie they've got someone who can talk for half an hour and say nothing.
    The more I see of the Ryder Cup the more I reckon it is just a good jaunt for a lot of hangers on. I think the 'team' would do just as well without a captain.

  • Comment number 14.

    i think 'Monty' is a great choice for our next captain, he is great leader as we have seen over his 8 appearances in the ryder cup. Go on Monty bring back the cup!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    This is similar to how Christy O’Connor Snr was treated. I agree with numbers 7, 9 & 10 The tournament committee has shown very little respect. They are clearly justifying their own lack of major success, Lyle’s treatment is disgraceful a 2 time major champ beaten by politics.
    Olazabal’s (2 majors) treatment is also disgraceful. Using Ollie’s health as an excuse is a cop out …Why didn’t they confirm Ollie as captain for 2012?

    I don’t agree that the captain needs to be actively playing on the regular tour. Jacklin, Seve, Wossie weren’t active on tour and Langer was based in America.

    You have to admire the political genius of Mark James he went from disgraced as a Ryder cup player to captaining the team ... Bjorn must be taking notes!!!!!

    The 2010 Ryder Cup will be “The Monty I’m the best European Golfer of all time even though I didn’t win a Major Testimonial”

  • Comment number 16.

    Iain - you've misused the word, "prevaricate". It means to deviate from the truth. It's a common mistake, but one that a professional journalist should not make.

  • Comment number 17.

    What qualities would make a good captain?

    We see players on the course, but most of us don't see how they conduct themselves in the locker rooms, in business meetings and in committees.

    Winning majors and being a really nice guy are good things but are not necesarily the qualities required to lead a team and you shoudln't "get your turn" like an old fashined gentleman's club.

    Understanding top flight golf and being able to understand and bond with your players are of course required.

    Could people who have advocated that their guy should 'get the nod' because they are a great golfer explain why they think they will fit this role.

    I would really love to know how many hours the captain spends organizing the logistics, the course and so on and how much difference that makes to the result.

    Someone earlier mentioned football, and I was thinking of the great football players and great football managers over the last fifty years. The intersection is very small.

  • Comment number 18.

    Goodness me! Less than 24 hours after his appointment and Colin Montgomerie (Mr. Captain) is getting it in the neck along with the rest of the selection committee. Those of you who do the condemning should be ashamed of yourselves! I, for one, am delighted that the European Team will be captained by a man in touch with the current state of the game and not a player who last won a tournament playing with a wooden headed driver! A large helping of patriotism would go a long way to bolstering our team and their ambitions/desires.

    Barack Obama may or may not be the right man for the job - time will tell and HE too was elected.

    Give the man a chance - Good Luck Monty from a Scottish, European golf enthusiast.

  • Comment number 19.

    Reading the majority of these posts encourages me to think there are well informed, comitted golf fans who understand the sport of golf. I hope Monty does well. I really do. But when you read Iain Carter, an employee of the BBC, I feel I am reading a press release from the players comittee. No perspective, opinion and certainly no criticism. I wonder when it comes to golf reporting you cannot dare criticise those who provide the fodder. Or, like the players themselves, has become detatched from reality. Lame, really lame. Going through the list of players as to who will get it and those who didn't is obviously the inside track, provided by those who want to get the information out there. It is just goold old fashioned spin that is being churned out and a bbc journalist should be better than this. As said in my previous post I believe the decision not to appoint Lyle was a disgrace, Monty should get the job for Gleneagles, but I am also a Scottish, European fan who is fed up just taking the pap that is thrown at us from the world of professional golf, from those that administer and control the golf, and from those that report it. It is time we got beneath the sugary image farce they try to maintain. The politics are brutal and in any political game the blood is on the carpet for all to see..Ian Carter. Please wake up, or chose another sport to schmooze up to.

  • Comment number 20.

    I agree that Lyle should have been selected. None of the 'arguments' for excluding him have any credibility at all.

    I think Monty will be a good Captain but he should have been the Captain for 2014 at Gleneagles. I think the reason they've brought him in earlier is because Faldo was such a disaster they fear that they must get the Cup back as quickly as possible in order to steady the European boat.

    But utlimately, I am very sad for Sandy Lyle and if Ollie is still ill in in 2012 then Lyle should have first refusal.

  • Comment number 21.

    Sounds like Mrs Doubtfire has made extra captains picks a precursor for his selection.

    'Fraid this one could well go the same way as Pietersen and England cricket.

  • Comment number 22.

    Referring to comments 7 and 20 - whilst you may not consider directly relevant to the Captaincy debate, the behavior of Sandy Lyle and Colin Montgomery at last year's Open may throw light on the personalities of each player. As I don't know the players personally, I draw on this limited experience.

    First day of the Open and teeming down with rain. Sandy walks off halfway thro' as he is not enjoying it, playing badly, and without getting too "Daily Mail" about it, he should have played onto the cut.

    Other than Craig Parry who teed off first in the competition, the only other person smiling on the first tee that morning was Monty. As he teed his ball up, he checked himself, turned round and wished his fellow players a "good game, play well" and continued with his setup.

    Seems to me that Monty still enjoys his golf, won't give up if setbacks come up, and enjoys the company of fellow players. I don't believe the press reports of "miserable Monty" which were just made up by the Americans to needle the player with the best Ryder Cup record of recent years.

    Go on, Monty!

  • Comment number 23.

    Ok, my two cents:

    Monty will do fine as Captain. I'd have thought he will be too busy being full of himself and enjoying it and that will be good but hopefully he'll have learned from Langer on how to impose your own level of attention to detail on your fellow pros with good grace and succeed.

    Carter - bland but then journos always know more than they say and where #16 thought that journalists do not prevaricate I don't know, I thought facts not getting the way of a good story was the journo rule.

    Lyle, overlooked for sure for his contribution to golf. Two Majors in that era for a Brit. Exceptional.

    Corey Pavin, well you'll have to watch him. He's astute, will have appreciated Zinger's approach and he's a guy who has maintained a career at a high level despite being one of the shortest (length) guys on tour. So while Zinger set up Valhalla to let his troops bomb it with little risk, Pavin will be very studied in his tactics to navigate his team's way around a Celtic Manor course which should be set up to penalise the birdie oriented drive, pitch and putt so favoured by our 'merrican friends.

    But as for who is the right Captain, there seems to be two sides here with, bizarrely there being no right answer.

    Perhaps someone (Carter) could actually provide some in depth exposition of what the Captain's role is so that we, the great unwashed, could make a better insight as to whether the role is ceremonial/nominal and could be awarded to those who are deserving or whether it is of strategic importance and akin to the England football manager's role where he has to have a special way of fashioning a team out of the best individual's on offer?

  • Comment number 24.

    Cometh the hour cometh the man.

    Come on Monty lets Spank the Yanks

  • Comment number 25.

    Congratulations to the committee on having selected the man who will bring back the Cup. I am also a fan of Sandy Lyle, but he does not have the charisma .. nor the ability .. to motivate a European team. Faldo, who has been a great ambassador .. for Faldo .. got so many things wrong last time. I admire Faldo for what he achieved, but he is (or was) a dedicated individual and not a team player. Montie will undoubtedly inspire a European team, and that's what will be needed in Wales. Hopefully Montie can continue his captaincy for a few more contests.

  • Comment number 26.

    slowleftarmaround beat me to it. Lyle's performance at The Open told us everything we need to know. I wonder how he would react if his first foresomes pairing walked off after 6 holes as they were 2 down, soaked and freezing cold and frankly "just didn't fancy it"? He could hardly take the moral high ground, could he? So I have no sympathy for the "Scot" whatsoever.

    Moving to Poulter's "backing" for Monty, let's get some perspective. He's hardly going to say he's a lousy choice as he'll doubtless be relying on a Captain's pick yet again.

  • Comment number 27.

    I agree with poster # 7, Sandy Lyle has in my opinion been mis treated here and though I wish Monty and his team well, feel for Sandy who is a decent, quiet chap with lots of fans the world over.
    How do you compare 8 Order of Merits to 2 Majors .... I know who the USA players and pundits would pick ...!
    As for being in touch with the current crop of Europeans, how is that measured ??
    Monty, for all of his success was equally focused and single minded when on tour and might have 3/ 4 buddies on tour - probably Brits, that's the way it is and Sandy is probably the same.
    I believe the Ryder cup is about 'The Teams' . Players AND Management, the Captain is the figure head and needs to be respected and inspirational.
    Sandy Lyle qualifies and was a great Vice captain. Please choose him for 2014.

  • Comment number 28.

    Was it just me, or did anybody else notice the front page of the BBC website once the news had been broken? It had an article on man boobs next to the story about Monty. Coincidence? I don't think so...

    Follow this link for the full story...

  • Comment number 29.

    I have not been the biggest Monty fan in the past but once he gets into Ryder cup mode he has been outstanding, second only in points behind Nick Faldo, and truly relishes the competition. With his advantage of playing frequently he will know the players extremely well and will be in a prime position to get the best out the team.
    On home soil ( European) Monty will deal with any winding up from the Americans with results.
    I have no doubt Monty will get most satisfaction in winning, but it will be extra sweet for him winning back after it was lost under the helm of Nick Faldo.
    To all you whingers about Sandy Lyle and his right for the job you must have very short memories- did he not walk off nine holes into the Open in 2008. So much for staying power! Clearly it was picked on best man for the job, in this case Monty is the best man for the job and he should get support from the tour and supporters alike.

  • Comment number 30.

    I always read that Faldo "did so many things wrong" in 08, what was it Faldo did wrong other than the subjective crimes of "not taking it seriously enough" and making a bit of a duff speech?

    I can't see any objective criticism of what he got wrong. Yes in hindsight after a loss we can all suck our teeth and say "I wouldn't have played so and so together" but equally if Europe had have won last year how many stories about Faldo's "many errors" would there have been.

    As far as i could see the American's just flat out played better golf, we're kidding ourselves that it was Faldo that got our bums kicked.

    The idea that the captain needs to be in touch with the young golfers is patent nonsense, As patent nonsense in fact as the idea of Colin Montgomerie being any more in touch with the Rory Mcllroys of this world than Nick Faldo, Montgomerie appeared to hit middle age at about 32 and stayed there.

    All in all the whole exercise has been turned into a farce to shaft Sandy Lyle, oh and give Paul McGinley a captains pick for 2010

  • Comment number 31.

    Lyle was honest. He was amongst several players who walked off that day. It's just that he was honest enough to admit the conditions had got the better of him as opposed to lying and saying he'd sprained his wrist etc. If far less successful players like Gallacher, James and Torrance and less talented ones like Woosnam and Langer can be trusted with the Captaincy then so should Lyle. So what if he isn't one of the boys. Neither was Faldo and that didn't stop him getting the nod. And look how that turned out. He was appalling. Jobs-for-the-boys, bad PR, bad tactics and a monumental loss even if the Americans were playing out of their skins.

  • Comment number 32.

    When you read the reporting of this matter, especially by the sychophant Carter you realise that there is a differance between journalists and sports reporters. They are not journalists, they only report what is given to them. Master and servant. Shame on you and the BBC.
    Monty has effectively ended his competative career by accepting the appointment. Has he really thought that through? This was the year where his personal life was sorted out and that he was going to have the big push for the top 50 slot. That is now over and he might as well put his feet up in Perth. I think we will be a good captain because he is, ehm, good. It is funny how managing the media is seen as an important test for the Captain to pass and a meter for the judgements now being rained on Lyle. I do find the comments about him walking out on the Open as tiresome and ill informed. The number of times players retire because of 'bad backs' etc are regular and we do not blink an eye. But because he paid the price of honesty his whole golfing career and integrity are now being questioned. Please. Golf has sunk to all time low with Lyle being passed over. It will be managed away because those than run golf are in complete control of the media that surrounds it. I dont know who I am more angry with. The Players Comittee or Carter for just churning out the spin they want us to hear. Once the balance on reporting was based on mutual fear and respect. For anyone who has read Carter's blog on this matter you will realise that rule just does not apply. I heard him on the Radio this morning from Dubai churning out the same guff that had been shovled down his throat from that all powerfull players. I had to turn it off. It no longer had the credibility to deserve my attention.. BBC please can we have a proper journalist for the game we love and send him back to the other sports he can suck up to the stars. He is a joke..

  • Comment number 33.

    Has anyone read anything against Monty being appointed on the BBC. It is like they have been managing his election. First from the shock, surprised reaction to his name being muted. Then have a couple of 'names' on radio and T.V. saying what a good idea. And then Carter saying he supports his appointment. I think if the players committee turned round and said the new captain will be ....'Robert Mugabe!!' Carter would be praising his attention to detail. I think Monty being the captain is no longer the story. The story is the story we are not being told. Who voted for who? What was the vote count? Who was the actual contenders? And.. What were the deals to seal the deal? It may go something like this. Monty with 3 picks. Ollie for the U.S. Bjorn for Gleneagles and Mr Nobody Paul 'the Kingmaker' McGinlay next on the list. Let us see this for what it is. This is not gentlemen sitting round being objective, thinking for the good of the game and respect for those that came before them. This is simply self-promotion. What's in it for me? Criteria No1. Nothing wrong with that, but let us be honest. The sad thing is we will have to fill the gaps in ourselves because we will never hear the truth. Golf is not reported in that way. Bland, uncontroversial, just keep the myth alive that golf is not like all those other 'nasty' sports where they have no honour. It is a ruthless as boxing. The only difference is journalists still work in the field of boxing, where they tell fans the truth, and the story..

  • Comment number 34.

    Nobody yet has brought up the fact that Monty could possibly make the team for the Ryder Cup and as a professional golfer should be motivated to do so....he wants to win the Race to Dubai doesn`t he??
    Why would he or anyone on the committee want him to be captain in 2010?...his time would have come when he had no chance of playin his way onto the team and now after Celtic Manor he will be finished with the Ryder Cup forever because the trend now is that you only get to captain the team once!!!
    It all seems a bit weird to me.


  • Comment number 35.

    My final word on this matter. It is for all you golfers with short memories that are quick to cast up Lyle walking out on the Open last year.
    Let us go back. Way back. Lets say as far as the ancient times of 2005. Is that far enough back for you? Anyway does anyone remember the Jakarta incident with Montgomery. You know, where he forgot to mark his ball overnight, ball was pinched, and he somehow managed to get a better stance when it came to replacing his ball the next day. After all the evidence Montgomery wasn't happy with his conduct. Did he dq himself? No. Did he return the prize money and thus lose crucial ranking points (he was chasing a place in the U.S. Open)? Err. No. Instead the multi-milionaire Montgomery donated his prize to charity. Gary Evans was one who was not happy at the time and Montgomery was given a hard time by the players comittee. But we don't talk about that anymore, do we? Not a mention in any of the reports about his appointment. What we talk about is Lyle's charachter because he walked off a golf course. As far as I recall, no-one ever accused Lyle as being a cheat. So for those that demand a Captain who has the right stuff.. Who would you rather have?
    All I am trying to show is the hypocracy out there. And the very, very short memory of some..

  • Comment number 36.

    the newlandsbomers comment of the 28th is the best comment I have heard on this whole sorry saga . He completely articulates the feelings of pretty much all my friends and everyone I know that follows golf.

    Excellent comment

  • Comment number 37.

    A major problem about any sportsman or personalties we read about in the papers is that we know very little about what they are really like. To get an insight, you need to read between the lines and in Monty's case, the Jarkata incident and his dour and miserable attitude when things don't go his way, makes me wonder how suitable a Ryder Cup captain he will be. Also, the so-called "People's Champion" is disliked by more people I know than those who actually like him. We admire his achievements especially in the RC but as a man, his ex-wife and current wife deserve a VC for putting up with his many moods and tantrums.

    The Americans also know him and his history well and they will not be slow in using whatever means available to get under Monty's skin and get him all riled up. something that is not hard to do. This may possibly inspire the Europeans but on the other hand I feel many of the younger element in the European side may not be too impressed.

  • Comment number 38.

    Geez, that didn't take long, did it? Already three days in and poor Monty's already getting it in the neck! Give the guy a break. And I never thought I'd be saying that about Monty.

    To be honest, I think it's a little premature to be selcting the RC captain well over year before battle is due to commence anyway. There's very little Monty can do at this stage to influence proceedings for better or worse- at least 8 of his side will be chosen on the basis of rank or winnings, something which Colin won't have any control over. Even the captains picks is something that can't really be discussed until nearer the time. Which kind of begs the question why appoint him so soon? It's not inconcievable Colin could have played his way onto the RC team (though I personally belive his days as a top player are gone) or that Ollie, for so long the Tour Committe's choice, would know for sure whether he would be up to the job physically or not.

    That said if you have to pick a captain now, then I suppose they've done right. Despite what people ahve said, Ollie's fitness, or lack of it, is a problem- remember how in previous contests we've seen Seve and Langer bombing it over the fairways from match to match? That must surely take it out on you, and you need your captain to be up to it. As for Lyle- well, that walk-off during The Open last year has, rightly in my opinion, come back to haunt him. Exactly how many of the players would have respected him for that, eh? The suprise is not that Lyle wasn't selected but that a) he was even considered in the first place b) he's actually had the gall to sound off about it. If he wants to know why he wasn't selected someone should dig out the tape of Round 1 at Birkdale and show him how a bunch of golfers, some of whom will never come close to winning a major, showed more commitment to the game than a two-time major champion.

  • Comment number 39.

    'More commitment to the game than a two time major winner..'' Ha Ha . Are you serious? Are you really serious..That has to be the biggest laugh I have read. For all those who cast up Birkdale, I feel sorry for you I really do. What it tells me is you have very short, selective memories or you just have not a clue. Lyle wasn't going to get the pick because of Birkdale. Not even the players commitee would cast that up, because they have all walked off or failed to trap. He never got picked because of the politics in play. And as for sounding off about it, really? Have you actually taken the time to read his very brief, but dignified, statement. Compare that to the muppet Bjorn (chairman of the players committee and believe you me future Ryder cup captain and regular walker off courses) when he wasn't picked by Woosnam.
    Lyle's biggest weakness is that he is not a media whore unlike some who are desperate to maintain some kind of presence in the minds of the media. Mark Roe, who recently stated he only plays ten times a year, is still on the players commitee. McGinlay, remember him, is on the payers committee, Richard Finch, anyone heard of him.. To even suggest that any of that mob has greater insight let alone commitment to the game is beyond laughable. It is just pathetic.
    They will try and justify their actions in any way that suits them. They just don't like Lyle. Montgomery, Harrington, the best players in Europe in the last 10 years wanted Lyle. Now what do they know that we don't ?The majority of those who sit on the committee will never win anything that adds up to he haw. This is their opportunity to get their 15 minutes of fame. Which is why James and Torrance got the gig. My argument all along hasn't changed. They should have picked Lyle. It would have closed the chapter on a selection process based on reward. Whether we like it or not that has been the basis of selection since Gallacher gave it up. From there a process that I thought everyone understood was started. You get it once, you get it for what you have done. There is no way in a million years Faldo would have got the job otherwise. Living in America, not liked, not wanted. All this has shown is that this Ryder Cup in Wales is going to be a disaster. The writting should have been on the wall from the minute Terry Mathews bought the venue from the European Tour. The course is not good enough, the people behind the event are selfish and weak. I only hope to God we have players with form.
    Montgomery will be a good captain. Far better than James, Torrance, Woosnam and Faldo. He is far smarter than them. It just wasn't his time. His time was Gleneagles. We will now have the bizarre sight of Thomas Bjorn in a kilt in 2014. Remember you read it here first..

  • Comment number 40.

    excellent post no.39. And extremely informative as well.

  • Comment number 41.

    I'd suggest that the childrens reporter should calm down. Both he and the newlandsbomer are living in the past and should just chill a bit. Lyle or Montgomery for captain? it not?

  • Comment number 42.

    It's quite good fun this. Interesting how the choice of one Scot over another has polarised opinion to the point where it's getting quite nasty... even a bit of Torrance bashing going on. Not really golf old boy!

    Post #39 at least pointed out that both Lyle and Monty were deserving of the captaincy at some point which I fully agree with but difficult to see Lyle ever getting the nod now.

    When you start mapping out the future Ryder Cup captains though it becomes difficult to fit them all in which is maybe why Lyle has been overlooked.

    2010 - Monty (age 46ish)
    2012 - Olly (age 45)
    2014 - Maybe Jimenez (age 49)? or possibly Parenvik? ...or the seemingly disliked Bjorn?!
    2016 - Darren Clarke (47)
    2018 - Harrington (age 46)
    2020 - Westwood (age 46)
    2022 - Might be a bit early for Garcia (age 41) so let's give this one to Sandy ;-) as a truly 'elder' statesman he might have a bit more respect by then!

    Oh and by the way, if we base it on major wins, when does Paul Lawrie get his go? :-)

  • Comment number 43.

    Oh and by the way, if we base it on major wins, when does Paul Lawrie get his go? :-)

    Here's some information which may be of help!

    The former Open champion is quietly being pushed as a potential captain when the Ryder Cup goes to Scotland in 2014 should Montgomerie take the reins this time around (which he has).

    Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, a fellow member on the European Tour Ryder Cup selection committee, informed Paul Lawrie that he was being considered to be on a short-list to become Ryder Cup captain for the 2010 contest.

    Lawrie replied: "It was obviously very pleasing to be included in such exalted company.

    After consideration, I decided to turn down the opportunity".

  • Comment number 44.

    A very calm childrensreporter here. Post no 42 is very interesting in that he does lay out the 'names' very clearly. My only problem with his list is that full of far too many credible candidates. If only he were the selector. My only comment about Paul Lawrie is why not? Major winner, yes. Multiple winner on tour? Yes. Ex- Ryder cupper? Yes. If the process was rational and with a clear criteria then why not? According to Andrew Oldcorn Lawrie is one of the hardest workers on tour. The problem with Paul, and I certainly do not have this problem, is that he was never given the credit he deserved. He was and still is a class act and the last winner from the U.K to win a major. But it won't be Paul. ALthough he sits on the players committee I don't think he is political enough. Or should I say ruthless. As post 42, it really is not golf..

  • Comment number 45.

    Dear Thechildrens reporter: glad I lightened up your day. Yes, I was being serious.

    There is no way a player who bails out of a tournament like The Open after 9 holes for reasons other than a genuine injury should be let within a mile of the Ryder Cup captaincy. If he was that bothered abot playing in that awaful weather (and it was awful, I admit) when why take your place in the field in the first place? Let's put it this way- if he were a club golfer who bailed out of ,say, the Captain's Day competition at his local club, and then put himself forward as club captan subsequent to this, everyone from the committe to rank and file members who play off 20+ handicaps would be more than a bit reluctant to have him as Captain.

    So what if his statement was graciously worded? I can write a mean statement too given a couple of hours preparation! It doesn't a) mean it was sincere, and b) excuse the behaviour in the first instance. It also raises the issue of whether a player who by his own admission was reduced to 'a wreck' (or words similair to that) is really a good candidiate to take The Ryder Cup hotset, with all the pressure that goes with it.

    The last point I'd make on the issue is the The Ryder Cup captaincy has never been about fairness or somebody 'Getting Their Turn.' It's about who'll get the job of winning the match done, plain and simple. The fact is, we don't have an obvious 'ideal' candidate in the manner of a Seve. And to be honest, if we really want to win the RC back, we should have got rid of this 'one time only' concept and asked Langer, Torrence or Woosnam to do it. But as that's not possible, and bear in mind all the percieved problems with Faldo, the Committe would always plump for a candidate who was Euro-centric (as opposed to the US-based Faldo), has recent regular tour playing experinece (so he still gets on with the players), has the respect of the players and isn't goig to butt heads with them.
    Now, I feel Olazabal could have been that man, but I can also see why they didn't plump for him- his fitness has been questionable for nearly a decade and (this hasn't been mentioned too much but I feel is worthy of attention) Europe's largely listless performance in the Royal Trophy probably rasied more questions.
    Who's left? Given that Darren Clarke wants to go on playing that leaves only one leder statesman who fits the bill- step forward Monty.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think that Monty will make an excellent Ryder Cup Captain. The fact that he has never won a major should have no bearing on his ability to captain the team. He has been one of Europe's top performers in recnt matches and knows what the cup is about.

    Roll on 2010.

  • Comment number 47.

    re: #43

    Thanks for the info Einstein 666.

    I hadn't heard anyone on this post clamouring for Paul Lawrie to get the job before Monty but it's really interesting that the selection committee haven't ruled him out for the future.

    It really made me think. The reason Paul Lawrie isn't in the mind of the wider public as a candidate is because of his low media profile - despite the Open win (which has been written off BY MANY as a blip in an otherwise fairly uneventful career, in an tournament which was a lottery because of the conditions and he was gifted it by others capitulating rather than him pushing on and 'winning' it).

    Some of the original points on this post were that the BBC and the media are picking the captains or at least selling the shortlist and candidates they want and disparaging others. I can see what they mean now.

    Are Sandy Lyle and Paul Lawrie televisual enough? Probably not.

    Should that matter? Definitely not.

  • Comment number 48.

    Actually, I had thought of Paul Lawrie. He should definitely be in the frame but as others have pointed out he doesn't have the profile so he won't get it. I hope he does though.

    Incidentally, in 1999 he came from ten shots behind to get into contention and beat Leonard and Van De Velde in a playoff. He showed his mettle that day no doubt.

    Bjorn and McGinley do in no way deserve the nod before Lawrie or Lyle. The word travesty springs to mind if they were to.


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