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May 26, 2005

Colin Montgomerie


COLIN MONTGOMERIE: A run of pars, too many pars. I didn't hit the ball close enough to the pin unfortunately. Missed 30 footers all the time. I couldn't really get the ball close, you know, close enough to hole, and then I dropped it in a real funny spot there at the last. Mind you, I'm not very good at dropping the ball, and so that was disappointing. But I got a good putt in because it broke a lot there, it broke about a foot, so that was better. I got a birdie at last, thank goodness. Makes lunch taste even better.

It is tricky out there. The wind is gusting a wee bit. The course is very fast running as it is in May. It's a much easier course in October when we play The Match Play here, much easier course. This is much softer. This is the only course that plays firm like this, firm greens, firm fairways, plays more difficult. You tend to run into the rough and tend to run into trouble off the greens and what have you. It is difficult and anybody that plays under par today sort of had a reasonable day really.

I haven't done anything silly today. I have one bogey and two birdies and the bogey was the 3 putts. There's nothing much wrong. Just not enough birdie, unfortunately. But there's three days to go, so no worries.

Q. Thomas said the course is too short, not long enough.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Too short? Not long enough? Well that's his he hits the ball quite a long way, you know. He wouldn't have said that last week.

Q. Considerably shorter than most other courses.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, it's playing shorter because it's fast running, you know. You've got to think about what you're doing, you know, and Thomas hits the ball a long way, a very powerful, powerful man. Luke and I and Nick, we play a sort of similar type of game, and you know, we tend to sort of work plot our way around rather than just bombing it. This is a course for our type of golf, that type of player, this week. If it was raining, it would be otherwise.

Q. While we've been banging on the U.S. Open, you're trying to win here again.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Forget the U.S. Open. I didn't play last year. Didn't hurt me. So if I don't play this year, it would not hurt me either. It would be nice to get in by some way or means. I'll definitely go to Walton Heath if I have to and qualify, I don't look forward to doing that but I will if I have to.

Q. Would you ask for an invite?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, we said that at Masters well, you did anyway. I didn't.

Q. With your record

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: A lot of you stood up for my cause at the Masters which I appreciate and thank you for doing that. You spoke to the chairman of Augusta National and I thank you for that, I really do. I appreciate your support there.

But, you know, there's a thing you don't ask for, and if it happens, it happens. It would be great if it does and I'll try and honour that with playing well. Pinehurst, I love playing Pinehurst. I'm playing well to do well in the tournament, it's just a matter of getting into the damn thing.

Q. There was a spell when you seemed untouchable on this course. What is it

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Age. Age has taken effect. There's nothing there's nothing about it is that I think I putted I putted well '98, '99, 2000 when I won. I holed out well, and I was just confident, more confident possibly on the course than I am now, you know, a little bit more confident and I knew I was going to win somehow.

I come here with that similar feeling, I must admit. I'm positive and I'm confident. I'm just not positive and as confident as I was back in '98 and '99 when I somehow knew I was going to win. The competition has got better, there's no question about that. The competition has got a lot, lot better. There's no good in me getting back to where I was in '98, '99. That's not good enough now. I have to go back to '98, '99 and then some to compete now, and that's what I'm trying to do. There's no point in playing '98, '99 golf; get lost, because the competition has improved. The standards have improved.

Q. In one particular area or just overall?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Every particular area. I think there's more people capable, there's more people less frightened. They are fitter, stronger, mentally tougher. Bloody hell, I'm talking myself into an early grave, retiring.

Q. Careers have become shorter?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sorry, I'm not quite with you there.

Q. If somebody is your age is struggling

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I didn't say I find it a struggle. I said other 41 year olds find this game a struggle.

Q. Will it shorten players' careers? Can you be 45 and still competing?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think it's tougher. I think it's tougher because the younger players are all the time coming through, you know. Younger players are seeing the rewards and seeing the lifestyle available and wanting it and working very much harder than they used to, very much harder than they used to. They are a lot fitter bunch than they ever were before.

It should lengthen them, but at the same time for me to compete against a 25 year old in length, no, that's not going to happen.

Q. When you don't get an invitation to the Masters and you see Nick Price gets one for the U.S. Open, how hard is it to stop the feelings of, "why not me"?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, no, that's not that's Nick Price. God, he's a Hall of Fame golfer; he's won three majors. You know, that's obviously in his favour.

No, there's no "why not me." I do understand the rules available, and you've got to get in the Top 50. That's what I've got to do, and I'm not right now. And I've got to get in it.

Q. Did you feel like that Masters was in your face, though, with the Japanese?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I didn't feel that. I understood. I understood the policy there. I understood what was going on there. The invite was given out a long, long while, wasn't it. It was given out in February, I believe. And the reasons weren't hidden. I think he said that. The reasons weren't hidden, and all credit to him for opening up and saying that. This is a commercial game, for God's sake. BMW haven't got involved here because it's not a commercial here. It's a commercial game. It's a dollar game. Of course it is. I understand that.

End of FastScripts.

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