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Ryder Cup: Colin Montgomerie bows out at top after 'greatest moment of career'

Colin Montgomerie, the third Scot to captain a winning Ryder Cup team in the last 15 years, last night insisted he has no plans to throw his hat in the ring for a second stint despite being showered with praise for the way he led Europe to victory at Celtic Manor.

The 47-year-old puffed out his chest with pride at the closing ceremony at Celtic Manor after watching his side regain the trophy with a nail-biting 14.5-13.5 win, describing it as the "greatest moment in my golfing career".

Montgomerie, who played for both Bernard Gallacher (1995) and Sam Torrance (2002) in their winning sides, was under extra pressure to deliver for Europe after the defeat suffered by Nick Faldo's side in Kentucky two years ago.

Despite finding themselves 6-4 down after the opening two sessions, the Scot rallied his side to a famous victory in Wales, where Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion, capped a memorable year by clinching the winning point against Hunter Mahan. It was Europe's sixth win in the last eight clashes in the biennial event but, as he celebrated the success with his players, Montgomerie said he would not be putting himself in the frame to stay on as captain when the 2012 match is played at Medinah.

"This is a one-hit time. I am delighted that Europe have won this trophy, but I will not be doing it again, I can assure you," he said, adding that he felt one of his vice-captains in Wales - Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Sergio Garcia were joined by Jose Maria Olazabal - should get their chance.

"We have a number of fantastic vice-captains, plus Olazabal, and one of those five, I'm sure, will be your next European Ryder Cup captain who will defend the trophy at Medinah in 2012. It will not be me. I think it is only right that the captaincy should be shared between potential very good candidates that we have now in Europe."

Montgomerie, the European talisman as a player, admitted he'd gone through hell during the concluding singles as his side earned a place in the records book by becoming the first team to win the event on a Monday after it had been extended due to bad weather.

"I felt out of control all week as captain, somehow, not being able to hit the shots," said the Scot, clutching a saltire as he spoke. "This is the first Ryder Cup that I have attended, really, that I have not actually played, and it is very difficult to play every shot over a radio. I played every shot out there for every game in every match.

"That's why I think it should be a one-time hit. It should be passed over to the next candidate we have in Europe.

In pictures: Ryder Cup 2010 day four

Victory caps great Ryder Cup career for proud Colin Montgomerie

US 7, Europe 5: how the dramatic final day of singles matches unfolded in Wales

Source: Martin Dempster,
The Scotsman, Tuesday, 5th October, 2010