Thankfully, Colin Montgomerie has been handed the captaincy to lead Europe at the 2010 Ryder Cup.
A crushing defeat by Americans in last year’s Ryder Cup was only inevitable in a competition that has been dominated by Europe recently. Montgomerie can head to Celtic Manor in a fantastic position to defeat the new breed of US talent with his own initative.
Nick Faldo was appointed and he tried his best; he had the extremely difficult task to follow Iain Woosnam, Bernhard Langer, and Sam Torrance in regaining the trophy, ultimately he failed. His long-term rivalry with Paul Azinger was his downfall as his persistence and his alter egoism prevented him overturning the Americans.
A new regime was needed; Faldo was a player always in the spotlight, and it was always about him. Monty, on the other hand, tries to live the quiet life and his appointment would refuel some much-needed optimism for European golf.
He is loved by all golf fans and he will get them concentrating on the golf on show rather than the ordeals off the course.
Monty has already said that he will have a good back room staff in place to assist him. Faldo relied solely on Jose Maria Olazabal when Paul McGinley opted to compete for a place in the team rather than work under Faldo. it was a fatal mistake.
Olazabal would have been the 2010 captain if his health could have been trusted; it wouldn’t be a surprise if he were brought back to be a vice captain once again.
Darren Clarke would be another that would be a good vice captain under Monty, as he would add more sentiment to the team. Sandy Lyle wouldn’t come in to work under Monty; he’s rather disappointed that he was overlooked this time around; it does seem that his time has passed to captain the team.
Europe needed Monty as his record speaks volumes on how much he loves this competition. His record of 20-9-7 accumulated 23.5 points is fantastic, he sits only 1.5 points behind the all time record held by Faldo.
It was one legend replaced by another as Monty duly swept in and took the role with no complaints. His attention to detail and preparation is amongst the best in the golfing circle. Hence, Montgomerie’s demand for more captain picks to make the players he has at his disposal.
He wants only the players there who want to be there and make sure they are playing their best golf.
Monty will be able to pick the team he wants, craft a group that will be united rather than the Valhalla fiasco, where the team didn’t reach the unity of 2006.
In Kentucky, there was no conviction that there was unity. Faldo choose individuals he wanted. Ian Poulter played brilliantly, way above expectations, but he relied on a captain pick when he pulled out of the Johnnie Walker Championship and the chance to earn an automatic place in the Ryder Cup team. Monty wouldn’t have this, commitment, loyalty, and teamwork will be the main theme of his reign.
Montgomerie is a theorist, sparking his ideas and philosophy into action and backing them up with stats and evidence. Every one of his golfers he would know inside and out, their strengths, weaknesses, and Monty will know what to expect. He would have a plan to defeat each one of those Americans in the opposite colours the next time around.
The Scotsman is a known fan of Torrance leadership in 2002, and when Torrance provided a memorable patriotic and inspiring speech before the 2002 event, he put Europe one up mentality before a ball being struck. Monty will want to do this and without doubt, he will revert to his fellow Scot at some time for some insight and inspiration.
Corey Pavin will be the US captain and will be eager to carry on Azinger good work. For one thing, the US team will be there asking questions about the temperament of Monty. Pavin can always revert to his solitary US Open win and remind Monty where was his Major win?