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Monty wants politics out of Ryder captain mix
by Associated Press

NEWPORT, Wales (AP) -- Colin Montgomerie spoke out Wednesday against the political battle shaping up to choose Europe's Ryder Cup captain.

``We tend to be getting into a bidding war here,'' Montgomerie said. ``There seem to be three people up for the next one. Fine, but two people are going to lose and we don't want a situation where two people lose out on a Ryder Cup captaincy.''

Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle are considered the candidates to captain the European team for the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills in Michigan.

Woosnam has said he would like Langer to get the 2004 captaincy and then take over himself for the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland.

Montgomerie said the decision should be made behind closed doors and not ``played out in the press and public.''

``It seems to be played out too publicly and I don't feel that's right, personally,'' the Scottish Ryder Cup star said.

Montgomerie cited the selection of Hal Sutton as captain of the American team.

``Who knows what happened behind the scenes, but what happened behind the scenes there (United States) is happening here in front of the camera,'' he said.

``I don't want Bernhard or Ian or Sandy to feel they've lost out. Then what happens? Do they bid again and give themselves the opportunity to lose again? What happens to the losers?''

Asked if he expected to have a chance to captain the Europeans in the future, Montgomerie replied: ``Given the opportunity I'd be honored to do it anywhere and any time.''

Montgomerie spoke on the eve of the Wales Open. He is playing in the event for the first time, attracted partly because the tournament has been moved forward from August and partly by the increased prize money ($2.5 million, including $412,000 to the winner).

``The scheduling this year was right for me. This is becoming a very big tour event in a very short time,'' he said.

Montgomerie is aiming to complete a sweep of Open titles in Britain, having previously won the English, Scottish and Irish Opens.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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