ORLANDO -- Wednesday's selection of Colin Montgomerie as European Ryder Cup captain for the 2010 matches at Celtic Manor in Wales might have surprised a few observers on the home front who thought the Scotsman might make a bid to play in his ninth matches. Some eyebrows were raised in the U.S. as well, including those of Jim Remy, president of the PGA of America.
Remy, in attendance at Orange County National, where the annual PGA Merchandise Show kicked off Wednesday with Demo Day, may have tipped Europe's hand as he assessed the news that Mongomerie, who stands to be Europe's youngest captain at age 47, was to take his turn before Jose Maria Olazabal.
"I found it to be quite interesting. I thought it would be 2012 (at Medinah Country Club) before we saw Colin Montgomerie," said Remy, who recently succeeded Brian Whitcomb as PGA president. "You know I really thought it would be the other way around, first Olazabal and then Montgomerie. But, hey, he has been a great Ryder Cup player and I think he'll do a great job for them, and his presence will make the matches at Celtic Manor that much mor e interesting. We look forward to it."
Montgomerie, who will be 47 when the matches commence, is Europe's second most successful Ryder Cup player behind Nick Faldo. In eight appearances, Montgomerie has been on five winning teams and scored 23 1/2 points for Europe with 20 wins, nine loses and seven halves.
Montgomerie was not a member of last year's European squad, which fell to an underdog American team 16 1/2 to 11 1/2. He did not qualify on points and was not given a wild card berth by Faldo.
Asked if the European captaincy was awarded to Monty in deference to his notoriety in America, Remy concurred, but he made no excuses.
"That very well could be, but, hey, this is America. We love our stars and we root hard for them over the opposition," said Remy, whose bright blue shirt was adorned with the Ryder Cup logo from Valhalla. "Colin is a great champion and has been a wonderful player for a long time, and he'll do a great job. In a lot of ways he's much like our captain, Corey Pavin. They're both very tough competitors. They are bulldogs, and they bring a lot of intensity."
"With everything coming out of Valhalla, you know that the matches at Celtic Manor are going to be a great event with a lot of excitement. People have connected with the Ryder Cup and what happened at Valhalla, and that should carry to next year."