Monty hails Tiger as best ever
Colin Montgomerie hailed Tiger Woods as the best ever golfer when the Americans arrived in Wales on Monday morning.
Tiger Woods was hailed as the best golfer “that has ever played the game” after the US Ryder Cup team had touched down in Wales on Monday ahead of their battle against Europe at Celtic Manor this coming weekend.
And the praise came from none other than the European Ryder Cup captain himself, Colin Montgomerie, who knows Woods could ultimately play a decisive role in preventing his team from regaining the trophy.
Woods, his 11 Team USA colleagues and captain Corey Pavin, landed at Cardiff Wales Airport on Monday morning on a British Airways-liveried charter flight from Atlanta.
Montgomerie wasted little time in praising Woods, who has endured a troubled personal life this year and struggled to find consistent form on the golf course.
“I’ve always said that Tiger is the best player in the world and the best player, in my opinion, that has ever played the game,” he said.
“I am delighted to see Tiger here. We welcome him with open arms.
“It is the first time he will have played golf in Wales as a professional, and we are just looking forward to seeing him play.
“A lot has been written about Tiger’s performances in the Ryder Cup, it’s just that it is poorer than his individual record, which is extreme.
“We look forward to seeing how Tiger is going to be playing and who he is going to be playing with, and see how we can counteract that, I suppose.”
Despite a grey sky above Cardiff, Woods and a handful of his colleagues disembarked the plane wearing sunglasses. They then posed for pictures before making the 25-mile journey along the M4 to Celtic Manor.
And after such an intense build-up, Montgomerie is relishing getting on with the task of trying to end the United States’ two-year reign as Ryder Cup holders.
“It’s been two years since Corey and myself we were both selected as captains,” he added.
“Now, it is upon us, and we look forward to getting on that course. We can’t wait for Friday morning.
“I think these matches will be very, very closely-contested. On this occasion, I think it will come down to a Sunday putt.
“The closeness of the event over the last years has been its beauty, and I think this event should be no different.”
Pavin is also eagerly-awaiting the first Ryder Cup match to be staged in Wales.
“We had a nice ride over,” he said.
“I think we are a little tired, having had an overnight flight. We will have a good day recovering today and be ready to go out there tomorrow on the golf course. We are glad to be here.
“I think we have a pretty good squad. I think it is going to be very competitive and really come down to who makes the putts. I expect the match to be pretty close.
“It’s hard to win over here. Any time you travel overseas and play there is a home course advantage, and that’s what Colin has this week. We have to overcome that.
“Team USA is going to play hard, play the best it can and try to keep this trophy in our hands.”
Pavin and Montgomerie, meanwhile, both confirmed their teams would not be participating on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook this week.
“We’ve talked about it,” said Pavin.
“The team has come to a consensus not to do that. It can be a little bit distracting some times. I think it’s important to focus on the Ryder Cup and playing the matches.
“We’ve decided as a whole to not Tweet this week, but first thing a week from today I am sure Tweeting will be all over the place!
And Montgomerie added: “We are in the same boat. It’s important, the same as Corey, that we focus on the job in hand this week and try to regain this lovely trophy that Corey has brought back for us.
“We have to focus on that job, and on Monday October 4 you will find the team probably on social network sites again, but not until then.”
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