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October 5, 2004

Colin Montgomerie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks as always for coming in, Colin. Kick us off with Carnoustie, a bit blustery?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, it's blustery for everybody, and it's the same conditions for everybody. And let's hope it dies down a little bit. It's almost to the limit of being, of being -- of being fun right now, but it's hard work. But Carnoustie is in excellent condition, much better condition than we saw it for the British Open in '99, forgetting the rough. I think the fairways and the greens are better than they were in '99.

So a great effort has been done there. And I hear Kingsbarns, I'm playing there tomorrow, I hear that's also in good condition, better than it was in the past. So the courses are super. We have great courses here, we really have. We are very, very fortunate to have three real world-class courses that we can play on and we're very fortunate.

So it's setting up for another good tournament. We've got the world's No. 1 and 2 players here this week, that sounds crazy to think that Tiger's not playing when you talk about the world's No. 1 and 2, but there you go. That's how things can change in this game, and we look forward to challenging ourselves against, as we say, the best two players in the world.

SCOTT CROCKETT: We also have the man who holed the winning putt at the Ryder Cup. Are you still being asked about that?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I suppose. It's different, really narcotics way, because it wasn't really -- it wasn't really the winning -- I suppose it was, it got to 14 1/2, which was our goal at the start of the week. But I wasn't out No. 12 and it wasn't last game, you know, so it was slightly different. We had not won a at Game 6 before, which is great. And I had four guys after me that holed putts to win, as well. So it wasn't the same.

I just was delighted -- the best thing about it was to keep my singles record intact and against one of the toughest of the seven opponents that I've had to play against, David Toms. All-square on the 16th tee, and it happened and I was fortunate it went my way.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks for that, Colin. We have some questions for Colin?

Q. Were you able to enjoy your time off the past few weeks?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I did. I was school running and doing all the things I had to do and had a breather and relaxed and didn't really take much observation of whatever was happening in Ireland. I just went to a couple of matches of my new team, Chelsea. I went out on Wednesday evening to the Chelsea/Porter game, and then on Sunday there, Chelsea/Liverpool, so it was good. So I can walk, I can walk to Stanford Bridge. It's excellent.

Q. Have you abandoned Rangers and Leeds?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I have not abandoned -- I enjoy watching Champion's League Football more than I do Division I or the Coca-Cola Championship or whatever it's called, you know.

So it's quite good that way.

Q. Are you able to go to any sporting event without being recognized anymore?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I can't. I can't go to any sporting event without being bothered, but that's part of the game, I'm afraid. That's part of life. No, I can't go to a sporting event without being bothered, no, because most of the crowd at Stanford Bridge, sports fans they are, and they would be interested in the Ryder Cup and the competition of it, yeah, yeah. So I can't go there and not be bothered.

Q. Do you enjoy that aspect of it?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I wouldn't say I enjoy the aspect of it. It's part of being quite successful and I've got used it over the years, I suppose. I wouldn't say it's enjoyable. I think I would miss it if it wasn't there. If I ever went to a sporting event and nobody recognized me, it would be a bit different, wouldn't it? (Laughing.) It happened to me, but no, I suppose it's one of these things that you miss it if it's not there more than you do, worry if it is, if you know what I mean. More worrying that it's not there.

Q. Did you walk to Stanford Bridge?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Did I walk? Walk, yeah, I guess I cross the bridge and make a left and I'm onto Pelham Road and I'm there, I walk, yeah. It's about ten minutes yeah. Sorry, back to the golf, since I'm not at Stanford Bridge. (Laughter.)

Q. What is your goal for the week?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: A goal, very good. You see the link, the link.

Q. Do you expect this to be a fun week for you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I wouldn't say it's a fun week. There's a lot of world points at stake here. As I was saying earlier, you have a lot of the top players in the world playing here so, this is not a fun week at all. This is very serious. I've got three sort of European tournaments to play this year to come, and I'd like to try and build on the success of the Ryder Cup and try and win one of those last three events, and this is one of them, right.

Valderrama, yes, I have good success there and I look forward to that tournament more than any in the year possibly. I really do like it down there and have done well in the past and would love to try and have success there again.

But at the same time, this is important to me, playing here in Scotland, and I would love to do well, you know, and try and get back up these World Rankings that obviously through this year I have slipped down a little bit too far and hope I can get back into the top echelons of that.

Q. You hold a few course records here?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, possibly. I've had a few course records here in Scotland and Muirfield as well, I suppose. It's a shame we're not playing there. And I finished up with a 65 at Kingsbarns last year, so I have good memories of all three courses. Yeah, Alastair is great, as well. We are working well together. So it's just a matter of going out and seeing if the weather can be semi-kind to us and fair and see if I can get four good rounds together.

Q. What are your goals with respect to the World Rankings?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, being outside the Top-50, I would like to try and get inside it. That's the first goal. And then we build from there, you know. We build from there. You know, it's not long ago that I think -- correct me if I'm wrong, but you know, '96, '97, before Tiger came on the scene, I think last two non-Americans to be 1 and 2 in the world was myself and Greg Norman. He was 1 and I was 2.

Now we have two non-Americans 1 and 2 in the world again, and thinking about that, as I drove up, makes me eager to get not necessarily back in that position, but certainly attain a higher place than I am right now.

Q. Are you and Vijay the same age?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: He is the same age as me. I think I'm slightly, a few months older, but never mind.

Q. What do you attribute his success at this point in his career?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think he's always been -- he's always been good and I think everyone says he's been practicing harder. I don't think he actually has. People just say he's practicing harder just because he's being more successful. I think it all helps, what he's done over the last ten years has aided his position. And Ernie has always been of that caliber. And it's just that Tiger is not winning the way that Tiger used to win, you know.

So how the World Rankings work, Tiger lost a lot of points for not winning, and of course Ernie gains for winning, and there you go, the position changes.

No, we all have to bow our heads to Vijay, not just for his talent but his work ethic and it the best of luck to him. We know he works the hardest at this game, and it's funny how the hardest worker in this game is now No. 1. There's no coincidence there.

Q. I was interested to hear you say this wasn�t fun?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I wouldn't. No, no don't get me wrong. I don't want to see any headlines here, "Monty says it's not fun." I didn't mean it this way, right. I just said this is a job of work for me.

I'm outside the Top 50. I'd like to get inside the Top 50. Jody is taller than me and she's coming up and I'm going to have -- going to try and relax myself to the extent of playing with her and enjoying the crowd and enjoying being out there, but at the same time, it is a job of work for me.

Q. What do you think the essence of this event is?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I think it's a mixture, isn't it. That's the beauty of it. Some players are here for the fun of the event and for the social, the socialness of the event, I suppose, and can invite sponsors and family to play, to play these wonderful courses, and hopefully do well within it.

And I'm in that bracket, too, you know. I'm out here to, yes, enjoy myself and have as much fun as possible. It's amazing how much fun you have if you score 65. Amazing how that helps.

Q. Have you seen Jodie Kidd play?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I've seen her play. I've seen her play a few holes in practice at Kingsbarns with her last year, yeah. Well, you would. I don't even know her handicap. I think she's come down to about 12, I believe. So she's improved.

Q. Darren Clarke mentioned her bare midriff?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, there you go.

No, I mean, it's quite good that we have someone who does a job that's, so different to hobbies of hers.

I think hobbies, and her driving skills and her polo, and it's great that someone comes from that other background of modeling to here. I think it's fantastic that she can compete and play in these events. It's great. It's good for the event, as well.

Q. When was the last time you played with a hickory shaft?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, a while back. I think I used a hickory-shaft putter for a while as an amateur because of the feel of it, sort of deflect better, but not for a while. So we'll have a go here. It's the balls I'm worried about, these feathery, hickory or whatever they are balls, won't go quite as far and it's cold and very windy. It will just prove how good the older guys were, you know. I think we'll prove how good they were with our score coming in this evening.

End of FastScripts.

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