Colin Montgomerie, who missed out on captaining the European Ryder Cup side when the 2014 matches were held at Gleneagles in his native Scotland, says that he would love to be able to help out at next year’s Solheim Cup at the same venue. He does not presume to think that Catriona Matthew, the European captain and his compatriot, would want him as one of her vice captains but he says, cheerfully, that he would be prepared to do any task, however humble. “Even if I was the one handing out the bananas I’d be happy,” said the eight-time winner of the European Tour Order of Merit.
Montgomerie was talking on the day after he heard that Padraig Harrington was putting his name in the ring for the 2020 captaincy on the grounds that he would be too far removed from the action in 2026, when Adare Manor in Harrington’s native Ireland is bidding to host the matches. “These things don’t always work out,” said Montgomerie, who captained the winning Ryder Cup side of 2010 at Celtic Manor. “I would love to have done the job at Gleneagles but that could well have been too late for me.”
Currently coached by Kevin Craggs, who also works with Matthew, Paula Creamer and Mel Reid, Montgomerie went to watch the LPGA players compete in Phoenix in the week ahead of the ANA Inspiration. “It was the first time I’d watched golf from outside the ropes and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Heavens, the women play well.” He also seized the opportunity to play a few holes with Matthew and Creamer.
He has a huge admiration for Matthew and has no doubt that she will cope admirably when it comes to next year. All he’s saying is that if she needs a gofer, he’s her man.