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Monty opts against tinkering with course

ESPN staff
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Colin Montgomerie has his focus trained firmly on the prize © Getty Images
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Colin Montgomerie has revealed that he has not made any alterations to the Celtic Manor course to favour his Europe side in their battle with USA for the Ryder Cup.

It is a home captain's privilege to tinker with the course as he sees fit in order to gain an advantage over the opposition. Montgomerie claims the course is a fair test of golf that he felt did not require tweaking in any way to aid his side when the competition gets underway on Friday. The Scot is expecting the wind to blow at the weekend and feels the course, set up to European Tour specifications, is tough enough.

"There is a so called home-course advantage which can be used by a home team," Montgomerie said at a press conference on Monday. "On this occasion I have not played about with the course at all.

"This golf course is set up in a fair manner to allow the best team to win and I don't think it was right to set the course up in any other way than it has been designed for. It is a great course, it is in super condition. The greens are firm, they are rolling at around 11 which is ideal.

"If it is a European Tour set-up it is to our advantage. I was hardly going to set it up to a US Tour specification. It is a fair test of golf and something our European Tour players will be used to in terms of greens. The rough is graded fairly. A good shot will be rewarded and a bad shot will be penalised. That is the game of golf and is how it should be.

"We are due for some breeze over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which I think the course set-up is not too tough but is tough enough.

"I am allowing the best team here to win."

Asked to comment on Montgomerie's decision, USA captain Corey Pavin said: "I think what he was saying was setting it up to European Tour standards and that is to his advantage. Colin has to do what he feels is needed to win and that is what he thinks he has done.

"Settting up the golf course fairly and to how the European Tour do it is what he thinks is best and I don't really have anything else to say about it. I am glad it is set up fairly as that is the way it should be played."

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