Montgomerie prepared for victory and defeat

Atlanta:Europe captain Colin Montgomerie has left nothing to chance in preparing for next week`s Ryder Cup even to the extent of preparing two speeches for next Sunday`s presentation ceremony.

The 47-year-old Scot is in place at Celtic Manor where he will greet his 12-man team on Monday before three days of practice for the 38th edition of the biennial match against the Americans.

Montgomerie said he had penned his speech, win or lose, but was confident he would not be needing the latter one.

"I hate to use that term," Montgomerie said when asked why he had prepared a losers` speech. "I`ve had to prepare a runner-up speech, or the non-winning speech. If the result doesn`t go our way I think it`s very important to prepare.

"Losing with dignity is the only way to do it, but hopefully nobody will ever hear that speech. The winning speech starts off with how proud I am of my team and the losing speech starts off with how proud I am of my team."

Europe are trying to win back the trophy after losing two years ago at Valhalla when Nick Faldo was captain.


Faldo`s captaincy was widely criticised and U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell said this week there was a spark missing from the previous match.

Montgomerie said he would be trying to keep the team as relaxed as possible in the build-up.

"I enjoy the Ryder Cup format and competition and generally in life if you enjoy what you do, you are usually quite good at it," said Montgomerie, a veteran of eight Ryder Cups and one of the most successful players ever to player in it.

"I will try to get that enjoyment over to the team so they can enjoy themselves and play to their potential."

"I`ve been speaking to the players and it is important to get them relaxed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before it all starts on Friday. I think they are going to enjoy themselves and the motivation will keep them going."

Montgomerie`s decision to overlook Justin Rose and Paul Casey in making his captain`s picks raised eyebrows and Europe will attempt to win back the trophy with six first-timers.

"You can`t consider them rookies as I was in 1991. I was inexperienced and in awe of may of the players," he said.

"Back then our Tour didn`t have the same depth and the gap between the best player and the 12th man was rather pronounced.

"It feels wrong to call them rookies. Martin Kaymer is a major winner and Rory McIlroy is so experienced out on the Tour. The Molinari brothers won the World Cup together and Ross Fisher won the World Match Play Championship."

The United States team, captained by Corey Pavin, arrive at Cardiff airport on Monday.

Bureau Report

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