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Monty pledges to back McGinley

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By Allan Kelly

Abu Dhabi – Colin Montgomerie has congratulated Paul McGinley on being named Europe's Ryder Cup captain and insists there are no sour grapes from him over been overlooked for a second stint.

Driven on by some powerful backing from Europe's top players, the 46-year-old McGinley was chosen to succeed Jose Maria Olazabal at a late night meeting in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday of the European players' tour committee.

Five names were discussed at the meeting but Montgomerie, the victorious 2010 skipper at Celtic Manor, Wales, was viewed as the main threat to stop McGinley from becoming the first Irish Ryder Cup captain.

As it turned out no vote was needed and McGinley, strongly backed by world No.1 Rory McIlroy, was a unanimous choice.

Montgomerie, a member of the 15-strong tour committee, said he fully supported the choice of McGinley, who was one of his assistants at Celtic Manor two years ago.

“I'm not at all disappointed - it would have been a dream come true, but it has not happened,” he said

“I was very flattered even to be considered again - it meant a lot to me. The selection process was such that they appointed the best man for the job.

“We all get behind Paul now and wish him well. I appointed him for the Seve Trophy and he did a very good job - as he did twice as a vice-captain (in the Ryder Cup).

“He's a very good man-manager and very good at assessing people's strengths.

“I will be there to support and fly the flag for Europe

McGinley, who sunk the winning putt at The Belfry in 2002 when Europe won back the Ryder Cup after a three-year absence caused by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, said that Montgomerie had been quick to give him his backing.

“He was the first man I saw, he came up and congratulated me warmly and wished me the very best of luck,” the Irishman said on Radio 5 Live. “He was very, very gracious to me.”

“Monty has been a great captain and a great stalwart of Ryder Cups. I have played in three Ryder cups with Monty, everybody knows what the Ryder Cup means to him and how he has carried the Ryder Cup, not just as a player, but how he spoke at the meetings and the air of authority he had around it.”

There was more praise for McGinley on Wednesday from Sam Torrance the victorious European captain at The Belfry in 2002.

“I think he is the right man for the job,” the Scot told Sky TV.

“He has the pedigree, he was twice captain in the Seve Trophy and has been (Ryder Cup) vice-captain twice.

“He has the respect of the players, he is meticulous, he is a great orator.

“The fact that he had McIlroy, (Luke) Donald and (Ian) Poulter on Twitter supporting him ahead of yesterday's decision speaks volumes for what they think of him.” – Sapa-AFP

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