Colin Montgomerie has predicted that Ireland’s Paul McGinley will lead Europe into the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014.
According to a report by Kevin Ferrie in Scotland’s The Herald newspaper, the Dubliner is Montgomerie’s ideal choice to lead the side to face the Americans on Scottish soil in three and a half years’ time.
Ruling himself out of a the running for a second stint in charge following his winning captaincy at Celtic Manor, Montgomerie said:
“I have to say one name and that would be Paul McGinley. He was very good at the Vivendi Trophy [between GB & Ireland and Continental Europe]. I put him in there with Thomas Bjorn as [vice] captains and they came out with flying colours; and he was excellent at the Ryder Cup, Paul McGinley.”
“I was due to captain the team … it was all set really for 2014 and that was the target,” he said. “I came in with a name of a captain who I thought it should be and it went around the room and then Henrik Stenson stood up and he said: ‘We have a captain in the room, what are we talking about?’ I looked at him and we looked at everybody else and he mentioned my name.
“It was a surreal occasion; when you are offered at that stage then you don’t decline ever. When you are offered the captaincy of the Ryder Cup team, you take it.”
Yet he almost immediately contradicted himself. “Having done it now in Europe, I think it’s only right that it should go to others who can do the job as well as, if not better than, I did. Especially having won it, fortunately, the time is [right] to say ‘no’, whether I am asked for Gleneagles or not. I think I should leave that to someone else to do; I’ll go to Gleneagles as an ambassador, or whatever it is and enjoy us hopefully winning it again for the third time in a row.”
He then went on to suggest that the Ryder Cup captaincy is becoming a younger man’s job. “I’m saying it was early [for him] but Seve [Ballesteros] was 41 when he captained the Ryder Cup team in 1997,” Montgomerie noted.
“I was 47 and I was the second-youngest captain ever. So it is becoming younger and I think it’s right that it does stay the magic under-50 now. I think it was a benefit for myself and for all the vice- captains to be current players on the European Tour and playing with the likes of our team. There were not 12 on that team, there were actually 17 of us with the vice-captains and myself.
“I would be 51 by the time Gleneagles comes around and I think that would be slightly out of the playing set, so I think it is only right that it goes to a younger guy. So I would say ‘no’. I wouldn’t do that again, no. That’s that done, it’s been won and it’s fantastic.”