The headline on the ESPN story left little to the imagination: “Montgomerie warns McGinley about captaincy hopes.” But was the Scot referring to the Dubliner or 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke when he said, “Just because it’s your turn doesn’t necessarily mean it will be you”?
It’s open to interpretation and given the coloured history between Montgomerie and Clarke, the Scot may well be saying that it’s the Ulsterman who’d better brace himself to take a back seat for 2014 and wait until next time.
Addressing the issue of which of the two leading candidates should take on a US side led by Tom Watson at Gleneagles, Montgomerie said:
“Has it changed our view of who we should put up against him? It shouldn’t because, irrespective of who the Americans have selected, we should be selecting the best man for the job.
“Surely that shouldn’t change. We can’t suddenly say he’s no good because of what America have done. I think it will put a wee bit extra pressure on our captain, especially in all the stuff that leads up to the Ryder Cup, the year to go celebrations etc.
“Tom Watson’s stature is second to none and we certainly need someone who can liaise with people, speak to them etc. They also can’t be intimidated by Tom. But all that goes down to the best man for the job, whoever that might be.”
The ESPN story went on to point out “that a vote will be employed to choose the next Ryder Cup captain, hinting that McGinley - a valued assistant at the last two Ryder Cups - is not guaranteed to be elevated to the top job.”
“For the first time, there is going to be a committee vote between two candidates and that will start off in Abu Dhabi next month,” Montgomerie added. “Paul was very good at the Seve Trophy. He was also very good as a backroom member at the Ryder Cup. He was very good with me and I believe he was very good with [Jose Maria] Olazabal [in 2012].
“But, for me, it goes back to this best man for the job business. Just because it’s your turn doesn’t necessarily mean it will be you.”
Then came the kicker:
“There are certain people who are meant to be in charge of a team and some who are not.”