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July 6, 2016

Colin Montgomerie

Inverness, Scotland

PAUL SYMES: Many thanks for joining us. Welcome to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. You remain the last Scot to win this prestigious title. What chance to repeat?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Probably not for me, but other Scots, let's hope, 17 years on, it seems a long time since a Scot has won this. Too long, you know. So let's hope that the younger guys can perform and win here.

It's great to have as many Scots playing, and Aberdeen Asset have done a good job in sponsoring and promoting this event. And I think there's over 20 Scots playing, so it gives us an opportunity of someone performing well, and hopefully not just performing well, but succeeding on Sunday. So we'll see.

PAUL SYMES: Absolutely. And whilst this week is important, I'm sure the back of your mind, next week is a very huge week for you.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, very much the back of my mind. There's nothing much going on next week. It's just another event. I mean, how the hell can somebody say that, just another event. Nonsense.

Yes, next week is important obviously, and whether I would have tried to qualify, if it was at Royal St. George's, with all respect there, or Lytham or whatever, I'm not sure. Because it was Royal Troon, I thought, I'll give it a go. And I took a week off the Champions Tour to try come back to try to qualify and it worked, so we'll see.

This is very important for everyone's sake. 155 other competitors here trying to gain Ryder Cup points and Race to Dubai points and World points and all the stuff that goes on nowadays that I'm not really involved with. But at the same time, it's a big event, this, in its own right before we go down south next week.

I'm going to concentrate on trying to do as well as possible here, and that would give me obviously confidence to go into next week having performed with this type of field here we have assembled this week.

Q. Do you feel re-energised after what's happened to you over the last week or so?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Certainly, it was quite a big deal to qualify, yes. I think if I had missed out on the qualifying, and it was close, it was a shot. It was always going to be close somehow. These things are, whether it be a playoff or whether it be just one shot.

Yes, it was more of a relief than anything. I wouldn't say re-energised because the Champions Tour has given me that opportunity in America. So I'm playing as much golf and busier than I've ever been.

But it was just relief at the end of the day, because I'd come so close at Sunningdale last year to try to win the British seniors and of course came up short. I knew the winner got an invite into Troon.

I asked for an invite but that wasn't forthcoming, so the only other way was trying to qualify, you know. It just happened to work. So relief more than anything, because I did realise that at my age, at 53 now, that when The Open comes back to Troon in, say, 12 years' time, being 65, I won't be able to play, never mind qualify, because that's the age limit.

So this was the last opportunity to try to get in to play an Open at Royal Troon, so it was a relief more than anything.

Q. Does that mean that this week for you, I wouldn't say there's added pressure, but more of a steely determination to do well, to not just set yourself up for next week, but to show people that you are still in the mix?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think that's quite true. I think that's very good. You've answered your own question really, so you know, if you'd like to come up here shortly, that's fine, and I'll sit there. Save me having to hole any 5-foot putts, you know. (Laughter).

Yeah, I think that's the case, that I am still competitive and want to prove that, yes.

Q. Can you talk about The Postage Stamp, the peculiar delight of The Postage Stamp?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's interesting, I played a practise round there on Sunday, because as a competitor, I can do that, you know, because the course is closed. I went out and the first seven holes are all relatively downwind and I think, well, okay, I can do this, this is okay. I can plot my way around here, I can do this.

And then you get into the 8th hole and it's the first hole that turns into the wind, so it's the first shot of the day in reverse. It was playing a 6-iron on Sunday, 120 yards' worth, and very, very different shot all together. It's amazing.

And even in the practise round, you stand up there and it's a potential card-wrecker, and always was and always will be. And it does prove, doesn't it, that the one hole that you talk about out of all these great par 4s on the back nine, all 470s and 480s, the great holes that they are, the one hole that you come to that is a third of that length or a quarter of that length.

It does bring to mind that the great par 3s in the world of golf, really, are Pebble Beach's 7th, you've got the 12th at Augusta, and you've got the 8th at Royal Troon, and not one is over 150 yards.

Yeah, it's amazing how one can design a course back in the 1870s, as it was with Troon and it still stands the test of time, today. Marvellous. Fantastic. There's very few that we have in the world of anything that can stand that test of time, and over 150 years old and still, still can generate that amount of excitement and drama, which it will do.

Q. The Olympics, there's obviously an awful lot of talk with guys pulling out. What's your take on that whole situation?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, just it was a shame. I went, and I think a few of you were there, that went to Lausanne when Annika Sorenstam and I went there with Peter Dawson, the ex-Chief Executive of the R&A, and we presented in front of the IOC committee on the fact of golf becoming part of the Olympic Games, and we were successful in that bid.

And it is a shame that a number of top players have decided not to go. If, if there was as many ladies not going, because they are playing the second week, I believe; if there was as many ladies not going, you might have thought that was okay. I don't think there's one lady pulled out yet -- one. Well, there you go. How many men? There you go.

If it was equal, it might be the case, but it's not. So to me, it's disappointing, and I'm sure that's why you ask the question, because it is disappointing, there's no question. First time we're back in the Olympics since 1908 or whatever it is and we don't show up. A bit disappointing, really.

Q. Would you question their reason?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, it's not for me to say the health situations. I thought it was a disease that affected women more than it did men. Sorry, but never mind. There you go.

Q. You said you think it's far too long since there was last a Scottish winner of The Scottish Open, with just the three Scottish players currently in the world's Top-200, how would you sum up the state of Scottish golf just now?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, that's not as good as we'd like it to be obviously. There's only three in the Top-200 as you say. I saw that stat earlier.

And England, for a stage, I think there was only one or two in the Top-100 when Lee Westwood was one of the only ones that was in the Top-100 in England, and all of a sudden they've had a resurgence, and there's a number now. I think there could be a dozen or something in that Top-100 English now. Let's just hope we are going through a lean spell, and encouraging signs are in the future, and let's hope so. Let's hope that the Home of Golf produces a star or many stars of the future, but that's all one can say right now.

We're going through a lean spell. There's no getting away from that. Let's hope we can see some light at the end of the tunnel there, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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