Montgomerie hails McDowell

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has hailed Graeme McDowell’s mental toughness.

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has hailed Graeme McDowell’s mental toughness after seeing the Northern Irishman put to an end to a European drought at the US Open that had stretched all the way back to Tony Jacklin in 1970.
“It was a magnificent performance,” said Montgomerie, twice a runner-up in the event himself and also third on his debut at Pebble Beach in 1992.
“He holed so many key putts – especially a crucial one on the eighth for par – and was very impressive throughout the week.
“He showed great strength of character in getting the job done in such superb fashion. He is a world-class player and obviously I am delighted to have a 2010 major winner in my team this year.”
McDowell has moved all the way up to second in the points race after back-to-back victories at the Wales Open – on the same Celtic Manor course where October’s match will be staged – and then in the US Open.
“All credit to Graeme to be the first European player in 40 years to win,” added Montgomerie, who is expected to pair McDowell with 21-year-old compatriot Rory McIlroy when the Americans defend the trophy.
“Nick (Faldo), Bernhard (Langer) and myself came close, but none of us achieved what he has. This is great for British golf and also the European Tour. Golf salutes him.”
Faldo lost a play-off to Curtis Strange in 1988 and finished a stroke behind Hale Irwin and Mike Donald two years later.
Langer’s best finish was fourth in 1987, but Ian Woosnam was a runner-up two years after that, Miguel Angel Jimenez a distant joint second behind Tiger Woods in 2000 and Lee Westwood missed out by a shot at Torrey Pines two years ago.
McDowell, whose previous best finish in any major was 10th at last year’s US PGA, will make his next appearance at the French Open next week, while The Open at St Andrews is only three weeks away.