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Monty in cup plea

Colin Montgomerie has called on fellow members of the Tournament Players Committee to vote with their heads and not their hearts when selecting Europe's 2014 Ryder Cup captain in January.

Monty is a member of the 15-man committee that will gather ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to vote on successor to Medinah miracle worker Jose Maria Olazabal but it is unlikely to be as clear cut as four years ago when Monty was voted the 2010 captain.

On this occasion the two candidates are both Irish and members of the committee – Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke.

With two of Clarke's fellow ISM management stablemates – David Howell and Richard Finch – on the committee, he would already appear to have two votes, but there have also been unseemly goings on with some pushing Clarke's claims trying to influence the committee.

However, the Sunday Herald has canvassed six members of last month's winning Ryder Cup side – Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari, Rory McIlroy, Peter Hanson, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose – and all believe McGinley would be better suited to Gleneagles, with Clarke, who some years back lambasted the course, a better choice for Hazeltine and the 2016 captaincy. It is a view shared by Monty.

"There is no-one else in the mix for the 2014 captaincy other than Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke as they seem to be the favourites," he said. "I know both Paul and Darren well and either would make a suitable choice as Ryder Cup captain but I tend to agree with most that Paul's best and seemingly only shot is Gleneagles.

"Let's just hope that when the vote is taken there are those in the room voting for a player and not a fellow management client. It should all be about who is the best man for the job.

"It's just an unfortunate situation that both players are running for the 2014 captaincy and both are on the committee, and both are Irish given Ireland has never had a Ryder Cup captain."

Monty was speaking in Singapore where he is playing in the storm-affected Barclays Singapore Open. The Scot managed to birdie the last hole of his second round for a score of 71 to make the cut right on the one-over-par mark, before moving back to level par after four holes of his third round when poor light halted play.

In contrast, the other four Scots missed the cut with Stephen Gallacher posting two 72s, Richie Ramsay a 146 total, Scott Jamieson 151 and Dubai-based Ross Bain 156.

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, is just 27 holes shy of becoming the youngest European No 1 in 36 years. He needs at least a top-three finish to secure the European Tour Order-of-Merit title with two events to spare and when play was stopped, he had moved to four under par after nine holes, five behind Dane Thomas Bjorn who was leading by a shot after three holes of his third round.

"I've played the par-5s well and that's been the key so far but if I can pick up a few more birdies in the morning and shoot something in the low to mid-60s then I've got a chance going into the fourth round," said McIlroy.

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