Bjorn endorses decision to play entire Ryder Cup team

By Bernie McGuire

CHAMBOURCY, France (Reuters) - European Ryder Cup vice-captain Thomas Bjorn believes captain Colin Montgomerie's decision to play all 12 team members on the opening day of competition will prove pivotal at the final day's singles.

Montgomerie has broken from tradition in announcing that each member of his team can prepare themselves to play on the first day of the biennial event against the United States.

The move was discussed with all four vice-captains, including Bjorn who whole-heartedly agrees with the decision.

"I'm quite sure it's easier for the players if they know what they are going to do when they get in there so they can prepare in that way," said Bjorn after signing for a three-under 69 on the opening day of the Vivendi Cup on Thursday.

"It's going to be nice to know who your partner is when you're going to go out and play.

Over the years, Europeans have shown that the guys who play a lot of matches get very tired for the singles," said Bjorn.

"We have such a strong team in depth, so if you can play all 12 every day, it gives a few of the guys a little bit more rest and prepares them for the singles.

Despite past differences, Bjorn believes the bond Montgomerie is creating amongst everyone on the European team should lead to victory at Celtic Manor.

"I've spoken to him quite a lot over the last few weeks over the phone and when we see each other, and we get on well and we are quite confident that we have got a team that can win," said Bjorn.

"The team is behind him is there 100 per cent for him and he feels very comfortable with that team and that's why he's in contact with us all the time, so that he feels he gets good information and he make some good decisions."

(Editing by John Mehaffey)