home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 18, 2006

Colin Montgomerie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Welcome, Colin. Not quite the start of a new season but the start of a new year. Give us your thoughts on preparing for the week.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I'm excited as everybody is I suppose that's come out here to the Middle East and we look forward to a new event, and a very good one, a great golf course. And everyone looks forward to start the year trying to make an impression. You know, you guys will is have to learn how to spell the word Ryder a few times this coming year, and everyone wants to make an impression and get some points on the board and nobody wants to get on the back foot. So it's important for everybody. We're all looking forward to seeing what happens.

SCOTT CROCKETT: You're in good shape thanks to the win from Hong Kong.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sure, yes, I had a good end last year, obviously. I got in with a number of points and I hope to continue that and make the team and I look forward to seeing how the team works itself out, and hopefully we'll have the strongest 12 available, which is the idea.

Q. Sergio said he would like to make the team by the Masters, do you have a timetable?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, well that's interesting. It would be good if he can. The reason that the system had changed from five to five was because we didn't want to waste a pick on our best player, if you like, and that currently being Sergio, we don't want to have to do that.

So it would be great if he could gain enough world points in that time, and I think that should be after The Masters, you'll find he's got enough points, which is great. We want as many of these so called certainties on the team by then. I don't have a plan of attack as to how much, because you're just not sure how many points you might need to make the team. I've got a good head start, I'm almost there, really.

So we just have to be safe and play reasonably and we'll be there. But I don't mind if it takes until the BMW tournament in, what, late August is it? I don't mind as long as I'm there again.

Q. Are you confident that the current system allows the best 12 players to qualify?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I would have more picks, personally. I would personally play you all seem to know that; I've always said that. The strongest team always and always will be 12 picks, has to be. But there are outside influences that affect that, that would never happen.

But at the same time, I would like it, I would like one or two more picks possibly with players playing around the world a little bit more than we have normally. But let's hope, we've been lucky in the past and let's hope we're lucky again that we get the Top 12.

Q. The Ryder Cup dominates our thinking in the Media, does it dominate yours?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't think it dominates my thinking especially. I think it dominates the top I mean, I'm lucky, I managed to qualify the last few years apart from last obviously.

But at the same time, because I've almost made it, it must dominate the top 35 players on our tour. It must dominate their thinking, on the fringe and what the guys from say, No. 3 or 4 down to number 25, 30, say. They are the ones that are really 35, they are the ones that every shot and every round, looking at other scores and how they are doing throughout the year. That must dominate their thinking.

I'm probably the wrong person to ask. You might ask No. 25, whoever he might be. Ask him. Find out who he is and ask him what he's thinking. Because I'm sure he'd say that dominating his thoughts, especially if it's a first time or has not played in the Ryder Cup before, it's this type of individual, I don't know who that might be.

Q. Did you make a New Year's resolution?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, just as I said last year I wanted at the start, I made two goals really, realistic goals I felt. And one was to get in the Top 25, which I succeeded in doing. And the next one was to get in the Top 10 in 2006, and I'm currently in there right now. That doesn't mean my goals have changed any. I just want to retain that position and remain there.

So at the end of 2006, if I'm in the Top 10 I'll have had a very successful two years, and that's the goal and that remains the same. So there's nothing really untoward about New Year's resolution, no.

Q. Will you make changes to your schedule now?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I have a schedule now. I have three tournaments in the States that I never managed to get into last year that I didn't qualify for: One was the Match Play, the TPC and the Masters. And I'm in there right now which is great.

So I can have a different type of schedule than I had last year and slightly easier if you like to be able to say, yes, I want to play here and I want to play there. I said that last year but I wasn't able to do. So I wanted to, but I couldn't. So that's great, early season, anyway.

Q. Can you relax a bit more now that you are in the top ten?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very much so, yes. I look forward to them, I can schedule four of them. Instead of having to fly off here and everywhere and try and get places, I can plan ahead and therefore be more relaxed in the process.

Q. Do you know yet approximately how many tournaments you'll play?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Roughly I think I played 34 last year, which is the most I've ever done. I think 31 was the most that I had ever done previous to that year, and so 34 was a hectic schedule for me. I think you'll find this year it's roundabout the 28th mark, something like that, which would be more akin to where I am positioned now.

Q. Was the 34 driven by the desire to get back to the top ten?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, it was strange last year. I started off having to play a lot of tournaments in far off places and then the more successful I became, the doors were opening towards the end of the year. Actually, I played a lot to start with, and then the doors were opened to other tournaments that I could manage to play in because of my good play last year and it opened other doors.

So the likes of a Shanghai tournament, for instance, at HSBC; the likes of the Target World Challenge, the Tiger Woods event if you like. So those are two tournaments that I backed into if you like because of the fact that I played okay. So, yeah, I can schedule differently this year.

Q. Are you refreshed so that you won't have to go through that again?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Hopefully I won't have to that again and I can remain in the Top 50 and have a schedule that's slightly, slightly easier on every part of me, yeah.

Q. Was playing 34 tournaments harder mentally and physically?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very much mental, very much mental. Physically, physically out here is not too much of a demand really to be honest with you. We're just walking around. People say, it must be tiring. It's not real tiring physically. Mentally it is when you're having to perform and you're having to being in my position and having to try and win an Order of Merit again was mentally tough, tougher than it had been before. And because the standards have improved.

So that was the toughest thing. Physically, I didn't have a problem I don't have a problem walking seven miles a day, thank goodness. But mentally, yeah, there's always having to work it all out.

Q. What sort of impression do you have of the course?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very good. They have added a number of bunkers I believe and a number of new tees. I think it's a very good course.

First time I played it, I thought, oh, it has a Qatar feel. And of course I found out that it was the same designer of both courses. So it does have a Qatar feel. Good; the wind is to blow I think most of the week, and it's quite tough, quite tough. The greens are fairly flat and large, which is good, but it's getting to the problem with the wind. It's a fantastic finish; 16, 17, 18 are superb holes.

Q. Will it make it harder if the wind blows?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I wouldn't say you wants it to blow, just about this, about 10, 15 miles an hour is fine. Any more, it kicks up all the sand, doesn't it, and then it becomes a bit of a problem. But this is fine. Look forward to it. It's a very strong field. If you get four out of the Top 10 in the world here, it's super for the tournament. It's giving a great boost and a great start.

Q. You had your break; can you tell us the highlights of the break?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Nothing, really. I was just moving in, really. I rented a house and I'm moving in there I'm sort of just getting into that, really. It's all different views from an apartment into a house. I'm getting into that and that's good. Just relaxed, really. I went up to Scotland for Christmas and spent New Year's down in London and that was fine. Just relaxed, really. Exactly what I wanted to do, I did.

Q. First time in how long?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, first time in a few years, which is great, and I really feel up for what's going to happen this year. Last year was a very important year for me, but this is almost as important. I've got to retain, retain my position here, and I can't afford to let that slip.

So I'm anxious to perform as well as, if not better than, last year, so I'm anxious to see what happens.

Q. Are you burdened by expectation?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: A little bit. But at the same time, I've been in this position before, I've been No. 1 in Europe a few times and was able to handle by doing the same again. I look forward to playing as that. I'm a lot more comfortable in this position than I was at 25th in Europe, a lot more comfortable in this position now, and I look forward to trying to honour this position if you like.

Q. When was the last time you began a year as buoyant as this?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: '96, when I came out after the first two years of winning and then the first three years of winning after I managed to just beat Sam Torrance in '95. And I came out in '96 and had taken a few months out and I came out and I won Dubai in '96, the first tournament. Yeah, that was a buoyant time for me. That was a confident, very confident, very buoyant time, '96. I haven't felt that way since ten years ago.

Q. What did you do so well? What were you doing so well around then?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I believed. I believed I was going to, so I did, exactly that. I came to Dubai two months off, I not played at all in three months, not at all, picked up my bag, came out to Dubai two days early to practice and I won the tournament. Because I believed, that's all it was. It was a huge confidence.

Now it's getting not back to, but I feel very confident.

Q. Your schedule after here?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: After the tournament I'm going home. I've got to open my clubhouse, it's finally open down at the Montgomerie course in Dubai on Monday, and I'll fly home on Monday evening and I'll come back to Dubai the following week. So I'm just missing Qatar, and then Dubai and then off to Australia and then America for two weeks, and then home for God knows how many and back again for TPC, really.

Q. Tell us about the Montgomerie course?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, it's maturing very well, very well and all of the members are delighted with the facilities that are given to them. Most people thought that academy building was the clubhouse when it first opened and it was that grand and that great, you know and I was very, very happy with it. And now the clubhouse is opening, it's terrific so I'm delighted to do that after the tournament on Monday and fly home, well, Tuesday morning we leave, but on Monday. It will be great. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. You have a close affinity with this region?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, of course I have. I've won that Desert Classic and it's a great honor for me to have that and a good affinity here. I didn't realize it's only about 45 minutes from here to the course down in Dubai. So I'll go over there and pay a visit there tomorrow afternoon and talk to everybody there and about the event on Monday evening.

There's a number of other projects in the offing, but nothing in this region.

Q. Do you ever find it mystifying that someone of your ability can ever lose belief in his game or lose confidence in whatever it is?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I understand what you're saying, I understand. But when you do lose a little bit, it's amazing in golf. I think it's more than any, but footballers go through a stage where they don't score and they lose that belief in a goal. Forwards that don't score for a month or two, it's most important to get that next goal to ease the pressure, almost.

Look at Peter Crouch of Liverpool who was even given a penalty to start him off and he missed it but and now he's fine, he's scored now and now he's away; now he's scoring goals freely now which is great. Forwards have that problem. There's just something in there that stops this that stops the confidence, believing in one's self.

I know there's having it and it's amazing the competition having it and you not, and it's amazing in golf that it just means a shot around, and that is all it is. It's at put that you're not quite confident over, something that doesn't go in that wasn't a shot around is four a tournament and that's a big difference that's someone that's trying to at my level, that takes you from a Top 5 to 15th, 20th, four shots. That's a big difference, huge difference is one shot around.

So it's a very, very slight difference between believing and not.

Q. Was it one particular area inside you that you lacked belief in?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, good question. I think just on putting green really. You just don't hit the ball hard enough once a day. Nothing much, nothing, it's such a fine line. But not particularly anything else, always nice to hit the ball, it's just I sometimes have a doubt. I think all sports men do I think. I'm on the other side of that line right now and the longer that remains, the better. I've been on that side of the line since the Open Championship in July and hopefully, hopefully will remain there for a number of years. But who knows, you know.

Q. Is there anything that you can do to keep on that side of the line?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I personally don't play that much. I mean, practice wise, you practice problems, as well. You can practice yourself into self doubt if you're not careful.

So if it's good, and I'm a classic case of, if it's not busted, no way I'm going to fix anything, you know, just leave it the way it is. I'm going to go out tomorrow, and tomorrow morning I've got a good draw with Vijay and with Sergio, and it's nice that we'll all try and beat each other, which is good. We'll all try and come in on top which keeps us all going which is good and I look forward to it.

Q. There are three or four US based players here and Chris DiMarco said it was difficult for them to come and play elsewhere?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Are you saying that Chris has wanted to play in Europe but has not been allowed to because he has not been given a release to play here?

Q. Well, when he does play in Europe, it doesn't count on their Money List, whereas you pick up World Ranking points and Ryder Cup points playing over there?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: We have a different system Ryder Cup points wise, yes, I agree. We have a different world wise system on points wise, he doesn't. He's got to finish in the Top 10 in his events. So he's sort of missing out on Ryder Cup points here to the Bob Hope Classic, is it, this week or something over in the States.

Q. Should the U.S. Tour be making it easier for their players to play outside of the states?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think they have made it very easy for themselves to play within themselves. The strength of the PGA TOUR speaks for itself. It is good in a way that Chris has come here. He's got a fantastic hotel, he's got a hotel second to none, and I mean second to none; I think it is the best hotel anywhere. So it's nice that we can show the American tour that we do run events and that we do have special events worldwide. And this is one of them and Dubai is another one down the road and that we can show off our own tour, if you like. I know we're not in Europe but that's just a weather consignment really.

It's good that Chris will go back to the States and remark about this course, this tournament, the facilities that were granted to him and let's hope that he can speak for himself and let's home he can get more Americans to play this side of the Atlantic, as opposed to us always having to go over there.

Q. Was it important both professionally and personally for you to come here this week?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think so, yes, yes it was. It was probably very easy for him to come here and I look forward to playing here. I'm very comfortable here. I think we all feel very safe here, we all feel very comfortable. Especially that hotel makes us very comfortable. Everything is set, set for a good week.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Okay, Colin, thanks as always. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297