Morikawa eager to savour taste of success after debut Open triumph
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Colin Montgomerie has backed fellow Scotsman, Robert MacIntyre to be picked in this year’s European Ryder Cup team following a ‘fearless’ performance at this year’s Open Championship. Playing in just his seventh major tournament, MacIntyre carded an impressive three-under, 67 in his final round at Royal St George’s last Sunday to give him a tied-eighth finish, securing his second top-10 finish in as many Open appearances.
After another impressive showing on the big stage the left-hander caught the eye of fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie, and the golfing veteran was full of praise for Scotland’s new rising star.
Talking about MacIntyre’s final round at the Open Montgomerie said: “As a youngster, in just his seventh major, to attack, attack, attack on the Sunday was very impressive, I loved that.”
The only real blemish in the 24-year-old’s impressive final round at Royal St George’s came when the Scot hit out of bounds on the 14th. However, Montgomerie believes this attacking style of play will only benefit his efforts to secure a Ryder Cup spot.
He said: “He was going for an eagle there. Ok, he pulled it but he was trying to win. He’s not satisfied, as a number of them are, with fifth, sixth place. And that’s what will stand him in good stead. That never-say-die attitude would be brilliant in a Ryder Cup.”
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Montgomerie himself has written his name into the Ryder Cup history books on a number of occasions, representing Team Europe as a player in eight consecutive Ryder Cups, accumulating an impressive 20 wins in 36 matches.
The 57-year-old also achieved greatness as a team captain too, as the Scot led Europe to victory in the 2010 event at Celtic Manor with a 14 ½ – 13 ½ win over the USA.
As a former European captain, Montgomerie has urged this year’s man in charge, Padraig Harrington to give MacIntyre a chance.
He said: “Padraig is looking for winners, for people who will go for it, he’s looking for the Robert MacIntyres of this world.”
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After Europe’s win on home soil at Paris’ Le Golf National in 2018, the competition will return to the States this time around, with Whistling Straits playing host at the end of September.
As a result, Montgomerie believes the only obstacle in front of MacIntyre’s inclusion is the event being played away from home: “If the Ryder Cup was being played in Europe, you’d have him in the team tomorrow. Being in America has a different dynamic and you usually go with experience.”
He added: “I don’t think I would have picked a rookie if I was captain for an away match. It’s too much of a risk. But the way Robert plays the game is a Ryder Cup-type game. That’s what you want, someone who will go for it.”
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