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European Tour chief slams remarks as 'wholly inappropriate'

EUROPEAN Tour chief executive George O'Grady has criticized Sandy Lyle's derogatory remarks aimed at Colin Montgomerie.

"The tour fully understands Sandy Lyle's disappointment at not being elected captain but deeply regrets his comments which are considered wholly inappropriate and ill-timed," O'Grady said in a statement.

"The European Tour wishes to state the tournament committee debated the Jakarta situation extensively and made a full statement at that time," O'Grady said. "The same tournament committee, at their meeting at the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year, elected Colin Montgomerie as the 2010 Ryder Cup captain and persuaded him to take the job. The decision was greeted with great acclaim by the tour members who felt the committee had chosen absolutely the right man for the job in Wales (next year)."

Meanwhile, China's Liang Wenchong will be counting on the advice given by three-time major winner and defending champion Padraig Harrington to stake a strong challenge for the British Open. The 2007 Asian Tour No. 1 enjoyed a practise round with the Irishman yesterday.

"We're both professionals who've been playing the game for some time already. While our game plan and strategy may be different, the thing that we have to remember in a major championship like this is to stay focus and be patient even if we've hit a bad shot," said Liang, who was the first Chinese to play in all four rounds at Royal Birkdale just 12 months ago and finished in tied 64th position.


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