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Monty relents on Twitter ban as Ryder Cup practice begins

Colin Montgomerie is focused on leading his team to Ryder Cup glory this week.
Colin Montgomerie is focused on leading his team to Ryder Cup glory this week.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Colin Montgomerie relaxes a ban on his side using Twitter during Ryder Cup
  • Monty says they can tweet but not reveal details of team meetings
  • Tiger Woods keen to play his part in a team victory as U.S.bid to retain cup
  • U.S. captain Corey Pavin says his team will not be intimidated by hostile galleries

(CNN) -- European captain Colin Montgomerie has had his first change of heart in Ryder Cup week, revealing that he was relaxing a ban on his players using their Twitter blogs.

Montgomerie pointed out the pitfalls of using Twitter on Monday, using the example of England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who was fined after using it to criticize selectors after he was dropped from an international series.

In that context, he then appeared to place a ban on his players for the duration of the contest against the United States at Celtic Manor in Wales.

But the ruling appeared muddied when prolific tweeter Ian Poulter later announced to his followers:

"For the record Colin hasn't banned twitter, he has asked to be respectful to the teams privacy. I played 7 holes today course is awesome."

I thought I was the captain of a golf team, not the captain of a tweeting organisation
--Colin Montgomerie
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On Tuesday, Montgomerie moved swiftly to clarify the position saying team members could use the micro-blogging site provided they did not give details of team meetings.

"Whatever is said within that team room stays within that team room," Montgomerie told gathered reporters.

"I thought I was the captain of a golf team, not the captain of a tweeting organization," he added.

Montgomerie was quick to try to move the questioning around to golfing matters and just as quick to highlight the practice form of his controversial selection Padraig Harrington, who was picked ahead of Paul Casey.

The Irishman reeled off a string of birdies and eagles, Montgomerie revealed:

"He's playing the best golf of my team out there, and I feel the criticism early on before the Ryder Cup is very unjustified.

"He's a world class player. He's won three major championships, and the stature of the guy is second to none within our team."

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods, one of U.S. captain Corey Pavin's four picks, told reporters that he was putting the team first in his first Ryder Cup for four years after missing the Valhalla triumph in 2008 through injury.

"It would be great to get a win and I'm looking forward to getting out there and contributing and hopefully getting some points," Woods said.

"It's just so neat to be a part of a team and quite frankly, we don't get to do it very often."

Woods sidestepped questions about his private life after his divorce from Elin Nordegren and any suggestion he was being snubbed by the wives and girlfriends of his teammates.

"No, we are here as a team. We're here to win the Ryder Cup."

Pavin is confident his team will be able to cope with the partisan home galleries when the match starts for real on Friday.

"The rookies will be prepared because we've talked about it," Pavin said. "But I don't see a situation happening out there that the people will applaud for bad shots or missed putts."

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