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May 28, 2016

Colin Montgomerie

Benton Harbor, Michigan

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 77th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. With me up here Colin Montgomerie. Colin, 3-under 68 today. Solid rounds puts you in a nice position for tomorrow. Maybe you could assess your round today.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, it was very difficult today. I just had to -- I'll just have to repeat what I said -- today it was a very difficult today. Club selection was extremely difficult on a course that demands good club selection or else you got out of position.

I would have taken 68 at the start of the day. It was very windy and very difficult to judge the distances into the pins. So I was delighted with 68. It's one of the better scores of the leading pack.

And you know how much this tournament championship means to me. Obviously, my first 72-hole stroke play win here in America and managed to repeat the feat last year. To come back here, I wanted to make a good showing of it. I really did. I wanted to make, I wanted to come here and contend on Saturday night. And that's what I've done.

So, I'm in a position where I can win. There's a few guys in that position that saying the same thing, so it will be shoot-out tomorrow and be quite nervy and it's a matter of who is going to hole the 7-footers, the 7-, 8-footers are key around here. It's a good iron shot into 7 foot, it's sometimes a reasonable chip on these greens and sometimes it's a reasonable first putt. So you always got the 7-, 8-footers on championship Sunday. And the winner tomorrow is the one that's going to hole out, going to hole those 7-, 8-footers.

And I look forward to the challenge of trying to achieve that. I know there's a bit of history involved in the whole thing, I'm trying to avoid all that and just trying to concentrate on what I'm doing. But I'm in a good position. I've come here to obviously try and win again and I'm in a position to do so and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

JOHN DEVER: You seem to have answered every question I had for you. Maybe tell us about, I think, the chip on 17.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I thought that was in. As the putt I thought at 14 was in as well. I don't know how that went over the hole.

But the chip on 17 was a good one. It just happened to come out -- sometimes chips don't come out the way you expect them to, that one did. And it came out just beautifully. Running up to the hole and it was absolutely dead center. And I think it, in slow motion you'll probably see it clipped the pin or something. It just hit the pin and it just ricocheted off to the right slightly and then around the lip and just happened to miss.

But I would have taken a three from the tee shot, believe me. So it wasn't a great tee shot. So, to finish 1-under for the last four holes is reasonable there, because it's very, very tricky. And it's a great golf course, it's a great challenge out there. There's a lot of shots to be hit.

No one hole goes the same direction, so you got to be very wary of the wind direction at all times. It's very, very easy to make mistakes. The job is to make mistakes before you've hit the shot, not afterwards.

JOHN DEVER: Questions?

Q. Can you talk about the third shot on 10. I know you had a tough lie for the second shot, can you --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's very kind of you. My lie on the second shot was perfect, I just topped it.

Q. Okay. It looked on TV like it may have been a little --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, well, thank you for that. I do appreciate the TV commentator saying, "well, that was very difficult, Monty," but it was lying perfectly. I just, unfortunately, I hit the top of the ball. And that's what happens when you hit the top of the ball, it really doesn't get very airborne and it sort of just went along the ground.

But, anyway, I made amends. I get the most improved award for the next shot. Which was a big wedge. 145 to the pin and that's not really a wedge for me, that's a 9-iron. But it was playing straight down wind and I knew that green is a very much of a down slope before the pin. That was one of the best shots of the day.

Then to hole the putt, again, you see that's the 7-footers I'm talking about. Good shot in, but to take reward is key. Especially when your playing partner 3-putts for par. And you make birdie. Having topped your second shot. Big, big result.

Then we both make a good 2 at the next hole.

And then I hit a good shot in at 12, again, another 7-footer. And another one that just sneaks in.

So, it's all about those putts. It's all about the 7-, 8-footers. So far, so good.

Q. You talked about the conditions out there today. Was it the wind changing directions, blustery, what was it out there today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, it was, it was because of the, this course is unique in many ways. It's parkland, it's inland and then you get 7, 8, 9 is a linksified. 7, 8, 9's okay, because you're right on the coast, really, we would call it a lake, but it's a coast, really, isn't it, with the size of the lake. And that's fine. Because when you're on links land, it doesn't swirl as much. It just is constant.

When you're inland, it's hitting trees and bouncing off and doing all sorts of things. So they're the most difficult holes.

7, 8, 9 are actually quite straightforward, because the breeze is in the one direction. But when you're in the trees it's bouncing around and it's most difficult to judge. You're over a shot and you got a 5-iron in your hand and then it changes to a 6 then it's a 4 and then -- oh.

But you got to be that quadrant of the green I was saying to you on Wednesday when I came in -- Tuesday, rather -- that you got to be in that quadrant. And it's very difficult to get into that quadrant when you're guessing with what club you're hitting.

Q. You've won the first two of these when you were leading. You won your Senior Open when you were chasing. Could you talk about this golf course and what lends itself to the situation you're in for tomorrow.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I came here with a patience hat on. I do like the four-round events. My whole career has been based on four rounds. I come on to the Champions Tour here and it's three mainly. Apart from the -- so this is why I love the Majors. My only three wins on the Champions Tour have been Majors. Because they have really been four rounds.

My career has been based on four rounds. I do like that. I'm a little more patient than -- some of the guys out here prefer the three days. It's more of a sprint than a marathon. I prefer the marathon.

Yeah, tomorrow's the same thing. I don't think -- you can attack here and get into trouble. You can. You can go for these pins and end up in, you can, but the thing is, the problem is, when you do bail out, when you do bail out, you know you got a bogey written all over it as well.

So this is why this course is so good that you have to take on certain shots and yet there's certain times where you can just play a little bit more the percentage game, which is my game. My game is based on a U.S. Open, that's why I used to do well in the U.S. Opens when I came over here, that I used to play fairways and greens. Fairways and greens. That's what did it for me. And this is why I'm playing this type of game here.

Q. Was it important for you to get into the final group with Rocco?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, no, no not particularly. I enjoy his company. The caddies get on. So that's okay. He's quite relaxed. He's very relaxed with his cigar and all his stuff, Rocco. He's obviously playing great.

It wasn't important to get into the last group, no, I was just trying to -- today's objective was to really around about the 68 mark was objective today and that objective was came true. So it didn't really matter who I'm playing with tomorrow, as long as I have a chance and as long as I'm in contention, which is why I came here.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you again for your time, sir.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Most kind of you. Thank you.

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