2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie reflects on Europe's triumph at Gleneagles and looks forward to the next event in Minnesota in two years' time


Ryder Cup – Monty backs US for home improvement

Colin Montgomerie believes Europe will face a much sterner test in Minnesota in two years’ time as the Americans will be a different prospect on home soil.

Speaking at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland this week, Montgomerie praised the performance of the three American rookies Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker, and highlighted some big names who may return for the US at Hazeltine.

“I expect Tiger will be back for the next matches, which will certainly give the team a presence if nothing else, as well as Dustin Johnson, who provides a big-hitting talent,” Montgomerie said.

“There is no question that they will be stronger, and I’m sure they will involve the FedEx Cup Champion if he is not already included. You have to feel that it will be much closer next time with them being at home as well.”

Montgomerie is one of the five-man panel tasked with selecting the next European captain but he wasn’t giving much away when asked about the decision.

“I think there are five main candidates: Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood, Miguel Angel Jiminez and Darren Clarke,” he said.

“There is no question that it is more difficult away from home. The Americans played their ‘wildcard’ this time in selecting Tom Watson as captain, but the question is where they go from here.

“They are fed up of losing and have two years to get it right. So we have to pick a captain that will be able to counteract that positivity that will come from any American captain.”

Monty is currently enjoying a fantastic year himself, winning two of the Majors on the senior tour and the 51-year-old believes he is nearly back to his best.

“I have certainly been playing very similarly to how I was playing in the mid-90s,” he said.

“The only real difference that I have experienced this year, compared to when I was number 2 in the world, is that I haven’t been driving the ball straight enough.

“However, I managed to put this right in Russia, where I won a few weeks ago, by hitting 28 out of 28 fairways, which is extremely pleasing.

“It really has been a great year, but I am looking forward to some rest and relaxation at the end of it.”

Despite his great form, the Scot was philosophical when asked about how he may have fared at Gleneagles this year up against the world’s best.

“The course was long, and the younger guys are hitting the ball 30 or 40 yards past me, if not further,” he said.

“I would have found it extremely difficult length wise, but I would have loved the competition and to have competed in the Ryder Cup in front of the Scottish crowd.

“Bernhard Langer and I feel that we could still perform for Europe, and it is great that the sport of golf can allow you to feel that way.”