Europe's quest to retain the Ryder Cup is likely to prove more difficult than at any other time in the past 25 years, believes Colin Montgomerie, who led the continental team to success at Celtic Manor in 2010.

The immediate past captain highlighted the strength in depth of the pool of players at Davis Love III's disposal for the biennial match to be staged at Medinah at the end of next month, and formed the opinion that the Americans are spoiled for choice.

While he voiced concern over recent American successes at the expense of their European counterparts, including at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the weekend where the top three places were occupied by home players, Montgomerie did not include Tiger Woods on his list of those he most fears.

According to the man who has had an enduring love affair with the Ryder Cup, the former world No.1 is suffering from a crisis of confidence and a surprising lack of aggression. Indeed, Montgomerie, a keen tennis fan, went as far as to suggest that Woods, winner of 14 majors and the second most successful golfer of all time, could do worse than take a leaf out of Andy Murray's book in the wake of his fellow Scot's Olympic triumph over Roger Federer.

Montgomerie believes that it was his fellow Scot's aggressive stance – much like that of the Tiger of old – that enabled him to overcome perhaps the greatest player of all time, by dint of a previously unforeseen ruthless streak.

Speaking at the media launch of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles' PGA Centenary Course later this month, the chairman of the £1.4m tournament was unstinting in his praise of Murray, from nearby Dunblane.

"In the past, Andy Murray reacted to certain situations as opposed to attacking, coming to the net and forcing the play, but that changed on Sunday," said Montgomerie. "It was an emphatic victory and, hopefully, now that the pressure is off he will win grand slam titles.

"The Olympic title isn't a grand slam event but, at the same time, for Murray to go back to the court where he lost to Federer a month before and produce such an amazing win took a lot of doing. He tried to attack in their previous match, but Federer forced him on to the defence, while Woods always looked like he was playing for a place in the Open and third is what he got. You've got to bring out the driver and attack at some point, not constantly hit 3-irons and end up two-putting from 40 feet. Using your driver is part of the game, surely.

"I don't think Tiger is confident using his driver, having watched him spend two and a half minutes deciding which club to hit on the 11th tee at Lytham and, when he did make up his mind, he almost lost his ball.

"Murray showed that the way to win is by being aggressive and attacking. He beat the two best players in the world, Federer and Djokovic, to prove that he is as good as anyone in the game."

Montgomerie believes that Jose Maria Olazabal's Ryder Cup team will have to dig deep and find similar qualities of spirit and determination to secure a fifth victory in six meetings since the dawning of the new millennium.

The Scot, who again expressed interest in captaining Europe at Gleneagles in 2014, pointed to the recent indifferent form of Europe's top players and claimed: "If the match was being played tomorrow you'd have to think the Americans would start favourites. They have home advantage and the course is set up for them. The Americans also want the trophy back badly, so that will add to the difficulty. They had a very good team at Celtic Manor but they have an even stronger one now."

Montgomerie welcomed the fact that Olazabal will not announce his wildcards until the morning after the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker, recalling the difficulties he faced two years ago when he was forced to divulge the names of his three picks immediately play ended, largely for the benefit of television.

The situation was complicated by the fact that play had hardly begun in the final round of a tournament in the USA featuring several candidates for selection, notably Paul Casey, who took exception at being given the news while out on the course that he had failed to make the team.

"I am glad the European Tour agreed to delay the decision until the Monday morning," said Montgomerie. "It is important for the captain to have that time to assess the situation, as the one I faced was crazy to say the least."

Ian Poulter, to Montgomerie's great surprise, given that he is almost certain to be reliant on a captain's pick, has not entered for the final ranking event but the field will be one of the strongest assembled nevertheless.