Monty: Europe won’t lack passion
Colin Montgomerie has vowed to reinvigorate Europe’s Ryder Cup team after a limp showing under Sir Nick Faldo two years ago.
Captain Colin Montgomerie has vowed to reinvigorate Europe’s Ryder Cup team after a limp showing under Sir Nick Faldo two years ago.
Europe’s run of three successive victories in the event came crashing to a halt when they were beaten 16.5-11.5 by Paul Azinger’s team at Valhalla last time out.
But Montgomerie has pledged it will be a different story when this year’s competition tees off on October 1.
He told the Daily Express: “Last time around there did not seem to be the passion. Who can say why? But I can guarantee there will be passion this time.
“I’ve got Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn and Sergio Garcia as my vice-captains and there is some passion there for you – they all live for this European Tour.
“I will assemble everyone at Celtic Manor in the team room on Monday night and there will be so much passion in that team room that everyone will leave shaking. I can assure you everyone will go to bed that night thinking ‘My God!”‘
Spanish veteran Jose Maria Olazabal could yet be added to that backroom staff on a guest basis, with Montgomerie revealing the players “still talk about” his stirring speech before the final-day singles in Kentucky.
But the captain has also called for leadership on the course, with Ireland’s three-time major winner Padraig Harrington to the fore as Europe seek somebody to take on the figurehead role which was once Montgomerie’s preserve.
“People have been looking to Padraig as the leader in what was my position on the golf course,” said the latter. “This time I think we will see Padraig step forward.
“He has been given this wildcard choice and one of the reasons we did this was to make sure he did step up to the plate and to give him that vote of confidence to say: ‘Right, this is your time mate. You come forward and lead this team on the course’.
“I am looking to him and Lee Westwood to do this. Westwood has played in six Ryder Cups and Padraig has played in five, so I think it’s time they both stepped up to the plate.”
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