Golf News-Monty to call on Ryder Cup greats

Colin Montgomerie will invite Ryder Cup greats to make speeches in a bid to inspire his European team to win back the trophy in Wales next year.

The European skipper will ask former captains Bernhard Langer, Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo to help beat the United States at the Celtic Manor.

“Woosie, Sam, Bernard and Nick will be invited in to speak to the team on any occasion,” Montgomerie said.

The Scot played and won Ryder Cups when led by Torrance, Langer and Woosnam.

Montgomerie failed to qualify for the 2008 showpiece at Valhalla and despite his incredible record of winning 23.5 points in eight Ryder Cups – third on the all-time Europe list – he was overlooked by Faldo as Europe lost for the first time in four tournaments.

The eight-time European number one won four-and-half-points out of five when Torrance captained Europe to victory in 2002 while Montgomerie was also a key part of Langer and Woosnam’s record-equalling European wins in 2004 and 2006.

Now the 46-year-old will invite his fellow Ryder Cup legends to help inspire Europe to regain the trophy Faldo’s team lost last year.

“I would honour it if they came into our team room to say a few words,” said Montgomerie.

Woosnam, a former world number one and 1991 Masters champion, has been suggested as one of Montgomerie’s assistants due to being Wales’ most famous golfer as well as his worldwide appeal.

But Montgomerie said: “I think Woosie would be a great vice-captain but I’m going to keep the vice-captains and captain’s assistants younger with all respect to Woosie.

“I was given this role as captain because I am under 50. I’ll be 47 come the Ryder Cup and I think it is important to keep it that way.

“But his team meetings and his passion for the game and his competitiveness shone through in Ireland and was forthright with his opinions – and I like that.

“He will be offered to speak to the team in the evenings when we’re down in our team-room, he will be very welcome.

“Woosie being the Welsh dragon that he is, we look forward to having him around.”

The fact Montgomerie is still playing competitive golf on the European Tour was one of the reasons why he beat off competition from Senior Tour members Sandy Lyle and Woosnam for the captaincy.

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Irishman Paul McGinley are front-runners to be among Montgomerie’s assistants but the Scot revealed he may consider Welshman Phil Price as one of his right-hand men at the Celtic Manor.

Montgomerie admitted: “What Ian Woosnam did well in Ireland was having Des Smyth, an Irish ex-Ryder Cup player, as part of his backroom staff.

“And Phil being an ex-Ryder Cup player would be an obvious candidate. But that hasn’t been decided.”

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