Des Smyth has hailed Colin Montgomerie as the perfect antidote to Nick Faldo’s disastrous Ryder Cup captaincy.
The Laytown and Bettystown legend, 55, joined Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington in giving Monty the thumbs up as skipper for the matches at Celtic Manor next year.
One of Ian Woosnam’s vice-captains at the K Club in 2006, Smyth said: “Colin will be the direct opposite to Nick Faldo. He gives opinions, but he listens to opinions too. He is always trying to do the right thing and that is good for a team effort.
“I think everyone knows that Nick’s captaincy wasn’t anything to write home about. I wasn’t involved, but there were a lot of early signs that things were going to go wrong. There was Paul McGInley resigning for his own reasons and then there was the situation where Darren Clarke was an obvious pick and that didn’t happen.
“He didn’t have enough back up either. He thought he could do the one-man-band job and it all backfired. And everybody knew it would.
“Unfortunately, he wasn’t a man to listen. But Monty is a listener. He has opinions but he listens to people and it is good to hear that Jose Maria Olazabal will be part of his plans.”
Montgomerie has vowed to put his bid for a ninth cap on hold until the 2012 Ryder Cup campaign and any qualifying points he earns will not count for 2010.
Triple Major winner Harrington would prefer to have Montgomerie leading the team at No 1 rather than at No 13. But the reigning Open and US PGA champion still backed the Scot’s promotion to the leadership.
Harrington said: "I think we need to put our absolute best foot forward and I believe he is the man for the job. Monty is quite good off the golf course in the players lounge and that. He's always got an opinion. He's always got something to say. So I think most of the younger players can relate to him. He's around, as everybody knows. You have to move away from him on the range, he talks so much.
"But he's a tough competitor on the golf course. I think the young guys, certainly the guys who are in contention for the team and would know him reasonably well, would all get on with him. He's quite an interesting person. Sit down and have a chat with him, you'll be entertained for half an hour.”
Clarke has had a cold relationship with Montgomerie since the Scot was accused of cheating in Indonesia in 2005. But he believes Montgomerie’s incredible Ryder Cup record makes him the ideal man to win back the trophy next season.
Clarke said: "He's got an incredible record in the Ryder Cup; he's been the Ryder Cup talisman for many years. He'll be very player-orientated. He'll take a keen interest in how the players are doing. The fact that he'll be captaining the tour, playing in the team will be an added bonus."
Smyth is pleased that Montgomerie has made the perfect start to his new role by knocking talk of a player-captain role on the head.
But the senior star does not agree with the new Ryder Cup “youth policy” and believes two-time Major winner Sandy Lyle has been a direct victim of fall-out surrounding Faldo’s defeat last year.
Smyth said: “I think Monty is doing the right thing. You can’t possibly play on the team and be the captain. It is a good appointment but I do feel sorry for Sandy Lyle, who is one of the big five who never got the captaincy. I don’t think Nick Faldo helped his cause.
“In any case it is Monty and he’ll be a good captain. He was a special player for a start. He is a different player off the course than he is on the course. He is a very personable guy in a team situation and I think that’s good.”