Is Monty the Right Choice

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 28, 2009, 5:00 pm
Colin Montgomerie was named the 2010 European Ryder Cup captain Wednesday. Is he the right man at the right time? GolfChannel.com Insider Brian Hewitt and editorial manager Mercer Baggs weigh in with differing opinions.


By BRIAN HEWITT
GolfChannel.com Insider
By MERCER BAGGS
Editorial Manager, GolfChannel.com
Colin Montgomerie

The envelope please: Its Monty. And, despite all the inevitable second-guessing that will follow, its the correct choice.
 
Dont you just know the tabloids are going to have a field day with this? Imagine the headlines: Celtic Colin. Prince of Whales Ready, Aim, Doubtfire.
 
Colin Montgomerie, newly-anointed as Europes next Ryder Cup captain has, for years, been a target for every cheapshot artist in and around the game of golf. And to be fair, even to the cheapshotters, the voluble Montgomerie often brings much of this upon himself.
 
You may not like the stuffy Scot because of the ill-tempered manner in which he handles bad days. He has never won a major championship, or any event, for that matter on the PGA Tour. Fact is, Montgomerie doesnt have a whole lot of friends on the other side of the pond either.
 
Until, that is, it comes to the Ryder Cup, an event that biennially transforms him from a goof to a god in the eyes of Europe.
 
Montys record in eight Ryder Cups (only three of which Europe lost) is a sparkling 20-9-7. His record in Ryder Cup singles, 6-0-2, speaks for itself. Loudly.
 
He is an absolute warrior and a totally different person during Ryder Cup weeks and that is why, at the still contemporary age of 45, he is the right pick for the job.
 
Jose Maria Olazabal, an almost certain future captain, had his chances to show Europes committee he wanted to captain Europe at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010. But he never fully weighed in, choosing instead to try playing his way onto the team.
 
Montgomerie, who won a record seven straight Order of Merit titles not all that long ago, probably would have preferred to wait until the Ryder Cup comes to Gleneagles in his native land of Scotland in 2014. But European officials didnt like the age difference between their last pick, Nick Faldo, and the players on a team that got thrashed by the U.S. last fall in Kentucky.
 
Now he will run the next big show for Europe, to whom the Ryder Cup has always meant more to than most Americans. And its best that he will be captaining in Europe.
 
Montgomerie, you see, has rabbit ears. American fans would have had a field day with him, riding around in a cart at Valhalla. In Wales, he will be a prince.
 
Ian Woosnam

I'm not going to say they made the wrong choice, because that isn't determined until the Ryder Cup actually plays out. But ... Ian Woosnam seemed the logical selection with the 2010 competition being contested in Wales.
 
Woosie, however, didn't seem to have the best relationship with the selection committee, namely Thomas Bjorn, which might have hurt his chances. Or, perhaps, they just didn't want a repeat captain.
 
Bernard Gallacher and Tony Jacklin were the only two men for the job for 12 years, yet no one has doubled up since 1995.
 
But the committee wanted Monty and they got their man. Fortunately they didn't name the 2012 captain. This isn't college football; you don't have to name a successor. It's not like you have to worry about Jose Maria Olazabal renouncing his Spanish citizenship, declaring himself an Argentine and leading the 2011 International Presidents Cup team?
 
Aside from the competition being held in Wales and Woosie being a Welshman, the reason I wasn't overwhelmed with the Monty pick was because I don't like the idea of someone taking on the captain's role when he could be a playing member.
 
Monty has said he won't earn points, thus ending any and all notion that he may want to be a playing-captain in two years. Obviously he didn't qualify for the European squad in 2008, but why give up what could be your last chance in 2010?
 
He certainly wasn't going to be named captain at a U.S. site, which is where the '12 Matches will be contested (Medinah), but the 2014 Cup will be held in Gleneagles, Scotland. Seems like the perfect fit.
 
European officials weren't fond of the generation gap between their last captain, Nick Faldo, and his players, which is one reason they wanted to get Monty to be captain ASAP.
 
This, however, is a ridiculous notion. Age makes no difference between a captain and his team as long as there is mutual respect between the two sides. Monty may not be well liked by the whole of Europe, but players will get along just fine with him as their leader ' even in 2014.

 
Related Links:
  • Montgomerie named 2010 European Ryder Cup captain
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.