Sport : Golf

Monty: European Tour needs stars

18th December 2012, 07:13pm

Colin Montgomerie wants Europeans to play at home

Colin Montgomerie wants Europeans to play at home

Colin Montgomerie has said that steps need to be taken to encourage Europe's stars to play more in Europe.

Ten of September's successful Ryder Cup side - all bar Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari - will be members of the PGA Tour in America next season.

Montgomerie, whose induction next year into the World Golf Hall of Fame was announced today, is a member of the European Tour's tournament committee and said: "It's very difficult and we have to sit down and try to address this.

"Sponsorship is getting harder and the first thing a sponsor asks is 'who's playing?'. He wants as many Ryder Cup players as possible.

"It's important for the future of European golf."

Tom Watson spoke last week after being named as United States captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup about the edge Europe gains by staging the match on courses well-known to their players.

The 2014 match is at Gleneagles in Scotland, but although a European Tour event has been held there every year since 1999 it does not always attract the top names.

This August, for example, the only members of Jose Maria Olazabal's side who played there - even though it was the final qualifying event - were Lawrie, Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Montgomerie led the side at Celtic Manor two years ago and admitted today he was disappointed that more of his side did not play the Wales Open on the course four months earlier. Only seven of the 12 were there.

"We need to get our team to Gleneagles. We have to have that advantage," the Scot said.

"In 1997 our biggest advantage was Valderrama. The Americans had three days to prepare, we had 10 years."


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