Monty backs Tom as Captain America

COLIN MONTGOMERIE today insisted that golden oldie Tom Watson will sparkle in his role as the USA's captain for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

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But the former European skipper reckons the Kansas veteran will be under severe pressure when the biennial battle comes to Scotland in two years' time.

Watson led the US to cup glory at The Belfry in 1993, the last time the Yanks won on European soil, and has been handed the reins again by the PGA of America.

The US has lost seven of the last nine matches, including this year's clash in Chicago where Europe mounted a stunning fightback to win at Medinah.

At 63, Watson, who won four of his five Open titles in Scotland, has become the oldest-ever US captain and Monty reckons the eight-time major winner will need all of that experience to turn Team America's fortunes around.

He said: "What happens if he fails? He has to win now. If he doesn't succeed at Gleneagles what's going to happen in 2016?

"There is a lot of pressure on Tom Watson, but he can handle that – I'm sure he can. I personally wish him well.

"He was very respected back in '93 – of course he was – and having won eight majors, four of which were won in Scotland, he will be very favoured here. I think it's a very wise appointment."

European officials will name their successor to Jose Maria Olazabal in January and Monty knows the new man will face a daunting task against a legendary figure like Watson.

He added: "It might change Europe's view. We have a voting situation coming up and have to decide who to take on as our captain.

"We tend to go with someone younger who is playing on the Tour, so you have to think of the likes of Darren Clarke or Thomas Bjorn or Paul McGinley.

"It will be a task for anybody to take on Tom Watson because he is very well respected, very well liked and loved here in Scotland."

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