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October 2, 2005

Colin Montgomerie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks very much, Colin. First thing's first, many, many congratulations. That was a fantastic afternoon's performance, you must be absolutely delighted with that.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, you know, a long time, you don't know when the next win, or if the next win is going to come. And I didn't, really. You know, I sort of backed into second place at The K Club and The Open here; Tiger was always just ahead to be honest and never quite caught him.

And then here, I had an opportunity, I know I did I was looking forward so much to coming back here, so soon after The Open experience, if you like. And it's so good to come out on top. You just don't know when the next one is. You know, you win 40 odd tournaments all over the world, and now that it's here, I've won the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond back in '99, my last win in Scotland, but this is very special. This is a very special place, this, and walking up the last hole today, very different from the Open in lots of ways.

But still, having to make a 3 to win and having to hole a putt of some sort of four foot left to right, you know, there has been some putts missed at that length. I'm so glad that I was able to do that and take the opportunity that was given to me.

SCOTT CROCKETT: It was a roller coaster of an afternoon, talk about the emotion of the last few holes.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I had a goal at the start, I wanted to get two shots back on Kenny Ferrie after five holes, and I said this to Michael at dinner last night, at the gala dinner, and then after six holes I managed to get two shots back. He says, "Well there's two shots back, but we're one hole down." And he then gifted me a couple of shots and I gifted them back again at the 12th, so that was a disaster for both of us.

Then we were thinking about, well, who else is there, because we're making a bit of a mess of it around 12. And I bogeyed 11 and doubled 12 and he bogeyed he bogeyed 13, 15, 16 15 was crucial. 15 swung the whole event. It was a two shot swing at 15. From being two shots back, suddenly I'm tied, and a whole different ballgame then.

15 was massive. I holed about a 50 foot putt and he 3 putted from actually he must have been on the third green and he 3 putted that; swung the whole event.

Then 16, the pin position is very, very difficult at 16. And we both bogeyed there and I 3 putted. And 17 we both hit great shots into 17, and I managed to he got unlucky at the last, he did. He hit the bank on the right of the fairway and kicked the ball right. It kicked a bit left and he would have made three. His ball kicked right and left me to two putts, which is never easy, but I'm glad as I said, able to take advantage of it.

Q. Where would you place this win?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I said the next win would be the moment important of my career, and it is. So this is the most important win of my career.

Q. In what way, how is this the most important win?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Because all of the wins before, it was a bit of a roller coaster to be honest with you and couldn't get off. The seven Orders of Merit just kept rolling along; It wasn't I wouldn't say it was easy, but it was expected. And then it stops. And then, and then my life changed dramatically a couple of years ago and I always said to myself, the next win would be the most influential and the most important of my career, and this is it. And especially being here.

Q. Was there ever a moment in your darkest days when you thought you might never win again?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, sure. Of course there is, very much so. The players are improving on this tour beyond belief. They see the rewards available. They see the lifestyle available. The financial reward is huge now on this tour, there's no doubting that. They are practicing harder, they are fitter, they are tougher, they are mental. They bring all of their mental coaches and fitness instructors with them and stuff. And there's me at 42 having to compete with all of this, and it's nice that I can still do that.

And I'm going off to San Francisco tomorrow with in the knowledge that I'm still capable of doing that, and that's a real thrill, believe me.

Q. How long was your second shot on the 18th and how close was it to where you were on Friday?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Okay, Friday, I had a problem at the Open the last day, as well. That's why I hit my ball 35 foot left on Sunday, and the same again on Friday here. You have to get past this hole. St. Andrews is that way. There's a way of playing it, and you have to get past the 18th to come back to it, it's a lot easier.

On Friday, I was level with it, and it goes down into the Valley of Sin. So today, I was lucky. I was about five yards further with my driver today and managed to have a flat, straight putt up the hill. I don't know how long it was, it must have been, I don't know, 45 no, 30 yards, 90 feet was it, something, 30 yards, 30 paces, 90 feet. So it's nice to get the perfect distance from 90 feet. It was inch perfect, the pace, you know.

But I think in winning this, I'd like to say that Kenny Ferrie, what a competitor he is. And also I think that the shot I won by was not just the crowd, but also, my experience at this golf course. I don't think that Kenny was experienced at this golf course, and that's nothing against him. It's just that I think I was more experienced than he was around here and that led me to win. I'm sure it did.

Q. You're now in second place on the Order of Merit

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. Don't worry about the Order of Merit. The Ryder Cup points are crucial at this stage. I want to play in Ireland along with everybody else on this European Tour. We want to be part of that, The European Tour.

I have a t shirt for the Order of Merit. I have a few of them. I don't know another one. I don't need another one. If I happen to win another one now, great. I have Valderrama that I look forward to tremendously. I have San Francisco; I'm looking forward to Madrid and several great tournaments coming up.

There's still a big gap between myself and Michael Campbell who is obviously playing very well. So I have to keep going and doing well, and if I do happen to win, great. But the Ryder Cup points are the crucial thing, and this is why this is what I'm playing for right now is Ryder Cup points and not Order of Merits. If I win eight Order of Merits, you know, I have a few of them. So I don't need the Order of Merit.

Q. Does it become a match play situation with Ferrie or do you ever think about what's happening behind you with the other guys?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Of course you do. This is the problem, and I think that we're always finding that. When I bogeyed when I double bogeyed well, I bogeyed 11 and double bogeyed the 12th to get back to 8 under. I immediately looked at Harrington was going well, Stenson was doing well, Gonzalez and suddenly you're thinking, "I was thinking about Ken Ferrie, and now I have to think about the other players that are doing okay," so you've got a problem.

But it was difficult coming in, and I just had to hang on, really. I just had to hang on. I was two behind with five to go, and two behind with four to go. And just so happened that I hung on in there, I was 1 under for the last four holes and it was good enough. It was very difficult.

Q. Must be delighted to win in Scotland and become the third Scot to win this event?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is, it's amazing, really. Paul Lawrie to win the way he did scrambling out of the Valley of Sin and Steve Gallacher last year and myself, and myself. So the crowd must play a role, and obviously those players are experienced around here as well as I am. So it's great to be part of that, part of that group.

Q. You said at Wentworth a couple of years ago that you thought your best golf was ahead of you, is that still the case?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I do yes. (Laughter) look, if I thought my best golf was behind me, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be entering the tournament, right. Now whether I believe it or not, I have to believe it, okay. If I thought my best golf was behind me and all that I've achieved in the past behind me, I would not bother entering golf tournaments, no. No, no. I'll go into other areas of life without beating my head against a brick wall of trying to do this job, believe me.

Q. When did you play the Old Course for the first time?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: As a junior boy, I forget the last time it was the first time I played the Old Course. I had just managed to get to grips with this place now after about 15 years of playing here. It's funny, I said that to you on Friday when I came in, and I think I mentioned it to you before in a pre tournament press thing, press conference that I've just become comfortable with this golf course now after 15 years and I was very confident of doing okay. As long as I can get around Carnoustie and Kingsbarns safely, which I did, I can rely on my experience around here; and that's what it was, it was Friday's round that won this.

Q. Did I hear you say you used a different yardage book today?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: We did. We used the Open yardage yes, I did. I said that on TV. Alastair had the Open yardage back, as opposed to the dunhill links yardage book, because in that book, it has all of the wind directions and it also has every club that I hit.

And for instance, at the 10th hole there, you know, I said what did I hit in the Open here Friday or Saturday was a windier day, what did I hit at the Open. We had the exact yardage and the distance it was to the yard the second shot again at the 10th, so we hit exactly the same club, the same club, the same ball. So I think it was a shot of a difference, yeah.

Q. You were standing over that putt on the 18th, what was going through your mind, all of the people who missed that putt like Doug Sanders?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. (Laughter). I was just trying to use every amount of sort of belief in me that I can do that. And I was talking to myself, I talk to myself all of the time, when I'm putting, about certain things and about how many of those putts I've hold every the years and get on with it. Although, it's a little bit left to right and it has to be hit firmer than you think because it's uphill, yeah, you know, they are all missable, believe me. That one, I was not going to miss.

Q. You look like you�ve finally become a good wind player?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I think I've conquered that. I was always I did hit reasonable shots. I just didn't really like the wind as such. Some people enjoy it because others don't. I enjoy playing U.S. Open courses because other don't. Other people enjoyed the wind and I didn't. But my 65 around here, as I said, won this tournament. That was a very good round of golf around here on Friday, and that's what's won me the tournament, not today or not the Kingsbarns' or Carnoustie's play.

Q. What does it say about your competitive spirit to be able to come back from where you are to where you are now?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, very important with me. I had a long chat at the start of the year and I came out and I practiced. I went to Dubai at my own course to practice in January at the start of the year and I took Denis Pugh out with me, and I practiced, my first round of golf in Singapore was 65 and it made my intention for the year. I was not prepared to go any lower than the 83rd in the world that I'd sunk to, and now I think I might just now be in the Top 20 right now, and that's super. That's great.

I gave myself a goal of 25th, and to beat this so far is even remarkable for me. So I'm thrilled about that, yeah. But I had to do something about it. There was two options, I was sliding, I let it slide, or get off one's bum and do something about it, and I did.

Q. Alistair was with you in the great years, now he is with you again?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, that's not coincidence. Alastair and I he says Alastair is the best caddie, but he's best caddie for me. He's been super, a real friend.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Colin, many, many congratulations on a great week.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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