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January 28, 2004

Colin Montgomerie


COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Haven't played in a tournament with a woman in it.

Q. What's your take on that situation?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: She has -- which is a European Tour sanctioned event, yes?

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: And has she accepted that invitation? Now I get your question.

Seems to be the mood right now, doesn't it? It seems to be the "in" thing to have women playing in men's events.

Q. What's your take on that situation?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'd like one of them to make the cut once. That would be good. That would be good.

And my take on that situation, as long as it says open event or whatever. I see the R&A have changed the qualification for the British Open. It's open to all male amateurs and male professional golfers in the world. The word "male" was never involved. They have changed their invitation. They have changed their qualification to the word male. As long as it doesn't say male, I supposed it's quite entitled for a female to play.

And what's my take on the situation? I don't have a side, to be honest. I'm actually right in the middle. I don't have a side to the situation yeah or nay.

Q. You don't have any objection?


Q. No endorsement?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No objection to lady pros, girls, females playing in tournaments. No objection at all. If they were to make the cut, it would be good not just for the tournament but for the individual and the ladies tour in general.

Q. Are you aware that Se Ri Pak --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Finishing 10th, which obviously means making the cut. I wasn't aware of that. Very good performance.

What does that mean, though? Okay, she finished 10th. Then what does she do? Does she go back to the ladies tour or does she stay on the men's tour?

This is my no objection to it, but I don't see where the end is. I don't see where we are ending with this at all. I don't understand the final. Where are we going with it?

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, obviously, the Colonial last year had a great press interest, I'm sure, because Annika played. It's slightly deflated now with more of the ladies doing that. But I don't understand where the final end to it is. What happens?

Q. Well, if she qualifies, she can get a sponsor on the U.S. Tour?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, let's say she does.

Q. That would be the next step. What do you think about that?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, then what does she do? I think that's great if she does that. Whether she will succeed in that, I don't know. But where are we going? What's it all about?

Q. Well, it would be unique that a woman could potentially play --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I'm sure there's other sports that men compete against ladies and women and what-have-you, mixed doubles. There's mixed-event tennis, badminton.

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'm sure Serena Williams would beat most men. But never entered -- well, has a woman competed against the top in our game?

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Provided that's not the case, and I think everyone is convinced that that would be a wrong, definitely, if it's keeping out a male that needs a particular spot and needs world points for a certain event or whatever, fine.

But, if it's not -- if it's not decrying that and the sponsors are able to invite whoever, you know, but I don't understand. I don't see where it's going. I don't see an end to it. There's no finite end to this. I mean, say you finish fifth in an event and you get world points, do you? No. You don't get World Ranking points. You don't get Ryder Cup points, I don't think, unless there's an in there for ladies to play on the Ryder Cup team. Is there an end? Where are we going? Where is the end to it? I don't understand it.

Q. What if a woman were to qualify for the Ryder Cup in Europe ?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Trouble is, it's a very, very large if. Come back to me in the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2020 and I'll have another answer for you.

Q. I won't be here.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Good, because I won't.

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, the R&A did. The R&A have written it in. Is it wise for the Tour to do? I don't know. That's not for me to say. That's not for me to say. That's for a committee and four walls, not here, sorry.

Q. Should she play the Tour?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I have no objection to women playing in men's events. I just don't see the meaning. I don't understand the meaning to it. I don't understand the why, you know.

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I'm not saying that. No, no, I didn't say that. And if they want to join the Tour or they want to go to qualifying school or go to -- I don't understand.

Q. Well, it would be interesting if they succeeded.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Would they? And play here permanently, you mean? What would the ladies think? What would the ladies tour think?

Q. If there were to be an end in sight --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Is this what it's about, is it about money?

Q. If someone like Michelle Wie wanted to play all of the time --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I think, you know, I think until she's No. 1 in the world by a dramatic amount, then she is testing herself against her best competition, in the ladies game.

Q. How is your game?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't know, really.

Michelle Wie's is quite good and I'm very interested in Se Ri Pak finishing 10th. (Laughter.)

My new clubs are great. I am excited. I was two putts finishing off in Cape Town which was great and went home and come out here and looking forward to this week.

Good golf course. And I look forward to this. This isn't your average tour golf course nowadays, which is good to see, actually. It's not your average thrash off the tee and 7,000, 8,000 yards long. It's quite good. It's 3-wood off the tee and a 2-iron or 3-iron and you have to place it properly. I'm sure we've played the practice rounds with all of the pins at front the greens. When they start putting them into the back and corners, it will be a very, very good test of golf.

It's a good field, the best field we have assembled in Europe for a while, and I look forward to it. So would Michelle Wie if she was playing, I'm sure.

Q. What's your schedule?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'm going home for two weeks and then I'm coming out again to Malaysia and then I go across to California from there and then Dubai. So they are nice short trips.

Q. Why Malaysia?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Why Malaysia? Well, I want to play. I want to play golf. I think -- I suppose it's halfway to L.A. and at the same time, I think it's important I get going. I need world points, I need Ryder Cup points and I need to get confidence in myself. I had a poor year last year and I want to start winning. I can't win at home, so I've got to travel and play tournaments to win. I'm a great believer, actually, in if I don't enter, I can't win.

Q. Neither can Michelle Wie.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's a fact. It's like putts that are short don't go in.

So I want to try to play more early in the season. I was injured last year with a bad back so I could not play the first ten or 12 weeks. Now I'm not, and therefore, coming out to play. So, I look forward to it.

Q. Where else will you play in the U.S.?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Hopefully I've got the two tournaments before the Masters, the TPC and also the BellSouth before the Masters.

Q. Do you feel any more pressure?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Slightly, yeah, more so than a little bit normal. You know, it is a Ryder Cup year. There's no getting away from that fact. Obviously, I would love to qualify through the normal channel, and I think I will, obviously.

So that's a goal. You know, dipping to be in the 40s now in the world is something different for me. I don't know if I dip any further -- want to keep in the Top-50. That's important for me. I want to start winning and get back into the Top-30 and Top 20 and then in the Top-10, which I still believe I'm very capable of achieving. There's lots of goals which I'm excited about, really.

Q. How will you prepare for your around-the-world yacht trip?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Preparation would be about a week or eight days. Sometime next year,2005, sometime in late 2005. And my leg would be hopefully sometimes after the Masters in 2006. So late April or early May 2006. So there's lots of time left.

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, but I wish it was. No, I think I'll do a sensible, a decent leg. There's no point in doing one of the off-shore ones if you know what I mean. I want to do a decent leg.

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I might well go to New York or the Hamptons or something like that. That seems to be a decent sort of stretch. I'm off that time of the year anyway, so it would be great. I look forward to it. We'll see how the timing goes. That's pencilled in, so we'll see how that goes.

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, not really. It's one of THOSE things that I would go away from this whole thing and regret I have not done but given an opportunity like this. In my position as a Joe Public in this position, if you like, fantastic to try and achieve and to try and go where I haven't been before. It's wonderful, a wonderful experience and chance to experience that. It would be great.

Q. Inaudible?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I wouldn't expect otherwise. I wouldn't expect otherwise. I'd have to train and I'd have to be quite accomplished, obviously. I wouldn't expect anything else. I don't think address room for as passengers to be honest and I wouldn't want to be one. I would only do it if I was trying to help. It's a race, after all. I hopefully would not be a burden. I'd have to think I could help.

End of FastScripts.

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