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May 21, 2015

Colin Montgomerie


JULIUS MASON: Colin Montgomerie, ladies and gentlemen, joining us in the interview room here at the 76th Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid. Colin in with an even par round of 72 today. You showed up this morning, weather conditions a little unique. If somebody said we'll give you even par, would you have taken it.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Take it and run.

JULIUS MASON: You would have.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, definitely, I think anybody would this morning, any of the early starters would have taken that. In fact, any of the later starters would take it, too. The pin positions are most difficult out there. Most difficult to get to the holes. They're in real Major Championship places, which of course they should be, but no need to put them all in a Sunday place, and they have today. Very difficult to get close to the pins today. You got to be very careful. You can run up some scores and you can get on a bogey run by missing fairways and what have you. So it is a very difficult golf course and as I said pretournament, the four 72s will not be far away and it's proving that right now.

JULIUS MASON: You talked about earlier how critical it was to make sure you hit fairways.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Indeed. And in actual fact I didn't really drive the ball as well as I have in practice and got away with a few of them. I'm going to practice that this afternoon. But you must hit the fairways here to have any chance to get close to the pin. Any chance at all. You're guessing from the rough and the ball hits the green and the greens are firming up now, actually, and of course the ball's running off into these run off areas, these swales off the green and making it very difficult up-and-down. So, all in all, yeah, that was a Major Championship thought process from 20 years ago, to be honest, when I was trying to win this championship back in 1995. Very well setup. I must admit that. I think that your event team have set the course up extremely well, fair, you are rewarded with a very good shot and you are punished for an indifferent one. And that's the way it should believe.

JULIUS MASON: One birdie today.



COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I don't mind that. The good thing about that was only one bogey and at the 8th. And I just missed an 8-footer for a par coming out of the bunker. And the birdie at the 14th was it 13? Sorry. No, 12. 12. Up the hill there at 12. About a 15-footer. So, yeah, one bogey, one birdie. That's okay. Safe.

JULIUS MASON: Questions?

Q. There were a lot of prediction of doom and gloom about scores earlier this week. Did you approach this with a kind of a British Open mentality as far as what you had to go out there and do today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, it was more sort of one of the tougher U.S. PGA Championships or even ala U.S. Open style of thought mentality, having to get pars. Every hole today is going to play over par. Every hole. At the end of the day it's going to play over par. So, every hole that you chalk up a par at, you're gaining on the field. And that's what I was playing for. I was playing for the fat part of the green sometimes when the pin's on the ledge. Yeah, that was the thought process that my caddie and I used to do in the '90s when we were competing in Major Championships. And here we are again competing for another Major. It might be a senior Major, but we really hold this in the highest esteem. And that's a very good golf course out there today. Very good. Very good. And well set up, I must admit.

Q. So the story all week so far in going forward has been how tough the golf course is. But today was the story the conditions. Is that the difference?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think so. Possibly this morning. The conditions were awful out there, to be honest. It was very, very cold. It was cold more than anything. The wind picked up a little bit, but it wasn't too much of a factor. The drizzle wasn't too much of a factor. It was how cold it was. The feeling of the golf club and when it's that cold, you don't feel the head of the club, you don't feel the weight of the club at all. It's very difficult to get rhythm and to get timing. So, this morning was all about the weather. Here we are, I'm sitting here in May -- I thought Indiana was supposed to be quite warm. I was ill prepared. I'm not coming to America now without my winter gloves, wherever I am. Because the weather forecasts can't be believed.

Q. With the severity of the golf course and all the slopes and awkward lies, etcetera, how much of a test of patience will this week be?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, that's what Major Championships usually are. It's one of these situations that you can win it today, you can only lose it. And if you try and attack this course, you can get into big big trouble. A lot of the back pins, you can't really go for. You've got to lay yourself short and try and 2-putt or try and hole the putt up the hill. You got to be very, very careful here. So, yes, the patience is key. It's key around here. This is a proper Major Championship setup here. Yeah.

Q. How good is even par today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I'm very rarely happy with a round of golf, ever. Because it always could be better and it should be better in anyone's opinion. I've shot level par today and I'm very happy leaving here. So that proves how good level par is. I'm very happy going away here, having lunch and practicing this afternoon. That is -- there's nothing wrong with level par around here. Nothing wrong with it at all.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks for coming in.

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