Friday, January 8, 2010

Monty unfazed by dual role

Colin Montgomerie is confident his decision to feature as a playing captain at the Royal Trophy will not backfire.

The Scot will lead the European team in Thailand as they seek to regain the trophy they surrendered to Asia for the first time 12 months ago with a 10-6 defeat.

Montgomerie will also skipper Europe later in the year when they face America in the Ryder Cup 2010, although he has already insisted there is no chance of him featuring as a player, even if he were to qualify for the team.

But the 46-year-old is looking forward to playing his part this week and has played down claims from Asian counterpart Naomichi 'Joe' Osaki that he could struggle to carry off his dual role.

"When I heard that the games were just one game per day then it is possible (to play) but when you have two matches a day and 36 holes a day it becomes impossible to try and fit in the scheduling," Montgomerie explained ahead of the first day of action at the Amata Spring Country Club on Friday.

"With one match a day it is possible to captain and play in the team and it means I am at very close quarters to watch my team players and see what will happen not just here but of course later in the year."

"It is a very important year for European golf in 2010 culminating in the Ryder Cup 2010 in October," he continued.

"We have a great wealth of talent in Europe, more so than I have ever witnessed in my career.

“The Royal Trophy is a very good preparation for us in many ways to see how our top players are playing early on in the year while it gives me a great opportunity to witness how they are preparing for the Ryder Cup at the end of the year.

"We have seven possibilities here this week to show off their skills and we look forward trying to regain the Royal Trophy against a very strong Asian team."

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