Luke Donald is the “pair of safe hands” Europe needs as Ryder Cup captain for the 2023 match against the USA, says Colin Montgomerie.
Momentum is building for the 44-year-old Englishman to lead the team in Rome, with 2021 losing captain Padraig Harrington and Ryder Cup legends Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter also behind him.
Donald, a former world number one, has won all four Ryder Cups he has entered.
“I would vote for Luke,” said Montgomerie, who led the team to victory in 2010.
The next captain is expected to be announced towards the end of February.
Lee Westwood, who holds the record for most games played for Europe, had been tipped to succeed Harrington after last year’s record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits.
But the 48-year-old Englishman ruled himself out as he remains in the world’s top 50, which qualifies him for all four major tournaments and the world golf championships.
“I agree with Lee’s decision,” said Montgomerie, who was a stalwart of the European team, playing eight editions of the biennial event from 1991, winning five before captaining the European team. team at Celtic Manor 12 years ago.
“It’s fair. He has unfulfilled ambitions. He hasn’t won a major tournament and is fully capable of doing so, so I don’t blame him.”
Swede Henrik Stenson has also been mentioned as a potential captain and while Montgomerie thinks “he would be a good captain”, Donald is the right man for the game against Marco Simone.
The former Walker Cup winner, who played in four Ryder Cups between 2004 and 2012, contributing 10½ points out of a possible 15, was vice-captain to Thomas Bjorn in the successful 2018 side at Le Golf National in Paris, then went on to helped Harrington in Wisconsin last September.
“I had three captain’s picks in 2010 and I picked Luke because he could play four-ball and four-ball and somebody had to go beat him, he wasn’t going to fight,” Montgomerie said. , who spoke to BBC Sport in an interview. you can hear it in full on Radio 5 Live from 8:00 p.m. BST on Thursday.
“Last year too many mistakes were made. Yes, USA played well but Europe didn’t play to their potential for the first time in my memory and we have to do that to have a luck in Rome.
“And I think Luke is going to instill that in them not to give the holes. There were way too many holes given in that last Ryder Cup and the way Luke plays and prepares would be the best we have right now. “
Europe haven’t lost a game at home since 1993 at the Belfry, but Montgomerie knows that 30-year record is in danger of ending in Italy.
“It’s a record we’re very proud of,” said the Scotsman. “The Americans are extremely strong but the home field advantage has won the last four Ryder Cups.
“The safe pair of hands is Luke. The safe pair of hands is safer than another risk and we don’t need another risk right now because if we lose in Rome I don’t want to of our chances in New York at Bethpage Black [in 2025].
“The crowd is going to be unruly and that’s only because a New York crowd is loud and unruly. We have to get a result in Rome or we could lose three in a row.”
Montgomerie wondered how the team was chosen and the pairs selected by his former Ryder Cup partner Harrington at Whistling Straits, while stressing that Europe needed more young players to earn a place on the roster. side.
“It was a heavy, mediocre loss,” he said. “We have to rethink a bit how we choose the team and how we get our top 12.
“Was our top 12 playing in this Ryder Cup? Maybe not. Were they playing in the right groups? Maybe not. Would that have changed the result? Maybe not. But it wouldn’t have It wasn’t a record loss and that was a shame, so we need to get this back on track quickly.
“We have to find another Viktor Hovland and another Jon Rahm and quickly.
“There are a number of talented guys here, they have to show the winning mentality and not just win once, but win again and again and prove they can do it again and again.”