Monty odds on for Ryder Cup captaincy

Colin Montgomerie is now a firm candidate for the Ryder Cup captain at Celtic Manor in 2010.

According to the Press Association:

Colin Montgomerie, not even mentioned as a candidate a few days ago, could be made Ryder Cup captain in two weeks' time.

"All I have ever said is that I would like to help the European cause in any way, shape or form in 2010," said Montgomerie in Abu Dhabi after being told the odds on him taking over from Nick Faldo had tumbled.

Until the committee meeting he attended on Tuesday, the 45-year-old has always been seen as the front-runner for Gleneagles in 2014 rather than Celtic Manor next year.

But Jose Maria Olazabal, favourite for the first-ever match on Welsh soil, has not yet declared whether he wants the job or not.

If the 42-year-old Spaniard, vice-captain to Faldo in the Louisville defeat, does prefer to wait it may be the committee decide Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam, the two declared candidates, are too old and too out of touch with the players.

Montgomerie would be 51 in 2014 and Olazabal is regarded a better skipper for the 2012 matches in Chicago.

The Scot has said that he wants to make the 2010 team and recently gave his back to Sandy Lyle for the captaincy in Wales, adding that  it would be "a shame" if his compatriot  was the only member of Europe's 'Big Five' - Faldo, Woosnam, Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer being the others - not to take the reins.

"We have to get the best man for the job," Montgomerie added when pressed.

"It would be an honour to be selected, but we are no further forward with the process than when we left the meeting.

"I will have to let you know if it has been offered. At this stage it has not."

Montgomerie would almost certainly be calling a halt to his Ryder Cup playing career by accepting the captaincy, however.

By overlooking him for a wild card, Faldo denied his former partner the chance to overtake him as the event's record points-scorer.

And of Montgomerie and Olazabal, it is certainly the former who looks more capable of earning a place in the 2010 line-up. Olazabal is still trying to find form and fitness after a long lay-off fighting arthritic pains, while Montgomerie had a 67 today to revive his hopes in the Middle East.