HONG KONG - Beaten Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo yesterday said he would be happy to take up the role again as he broke two months of silence on the debacle.

Faldo, who was strongly criticized over Europe’s heavy defeat to the United States at Valhalla, made a brief statement ahead of this week’s Hong Kong Open but declined to comment further. "I enjoyed it so much that week. It really was a great experience," he said.

"If somewhere down the line there's another opportunity to be captain, I would seriously consider it." When questioned further, the six-time Major winner refused to be drawn. "What was said has been said. We're two months on now," he said.

However, eight-time European merit winner Colin Montgomerie quickly expressed opposition to Faldo’s return and said he would prefer to see fellow Scot Sandy Lyle as captain. "It's a one-hit deal and I think it should remain that way," Montgomerie said. "It appears to be a one-hit deal right now so it would set a precedent if Nick would be to do that again."

Faldo, who had earlier ruled out a second stint as skipper, drew fire in September after Europe slumped to their worst defeat in nearly three decades and first since 1999.

The 51-year-old Englishman was especially faulted for his singles line-up for the final day, when he picked his strongest players last despite the fact that Europe was already trailing.

He also had a mixed performance in front of the media and was embarrassed when a photographer snapped him holding his secret list of foursomes, which he briefly tried to pass off as sandwich orders.

Faldo said he had not discussed the event with other possible captains here, who include Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer and defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez.