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November 21, 2003

Colin Montgomerie


GORDON SIMPSON: We have Colin Montgomerie, with Bernard Langer won by 5-3 today. Colin, it seems you and Bernard keep on winning, no matter what the competition.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's quite obvious that we enjoy playing together, and Tony Jacklin obviously saw that as a pairing, and we were delighted when we found we were playing together.

We do complement each other very well. We respect each other very much, which is so important, especially in a foursome's format where it's closer than a four-ball format where you're playing your own ball. When you're playing someone else's, having respect and confidence in your partner is vital.

Bernard and I have had great success in foursomes golf over the years. We play a very similar game, and we do enjoy it.

GORDON SIMPSON: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Has the day turned out as you would have expected, looking at the draw this morning?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think the international rest of the world, I think we must be very satisfied, three and a half, two and a half up. I think on paper the USA team would be stronger. But match play is different, as we proved in many Ryder Cups.

I think to be ahead at the end of the day, I think Tony will be very happy with that.

Q. How difficult was that chip on 2?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Almost impossible. Hell of a shot (laughter).

No, I've learned some chipping methods from Bernard over the years. Couple of chips at the seventh and also at the ninth that were sublime, as well. I always thought that Seve or Olazabal were some of the best chippers in the world.

Overall, I think you take Bernard ahead of anybody. He really is fantastic around the greens. I've learned from him over the years. We're just lucky that mine happened to be on line, hit the pin and went in. That got our round going because it looked as if we were going one down there. We actually won the hole. They bogeyed the next one. Instead of one down, we were two up. That was a big step for us. I think we both relaxed then.

But, yet again, Bernard thinks the same way I do. If we didn't drop a shot, you know, we should have won, and we didn't drop a shot today. We had four birdies, didn't drop a shot. That's good golf. That's good golf. That should win, and did win.

GORDON SIMPSON: New to this type of format. What is your initial impression of it?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I'm not new to the format, I'm new to the age.

GORDON SIMPSON: The competition.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Competition. I'm new to being the youngest member of either time. I gather it's a positive. It's a real positive, that.

It's more competitive than I thought it was going to be, which is good. I think competition's important. I think it's good that it is competitive. And yet it's friendly, as well, you know. In the locker rooms, we sit together in the locker rooms as teams. That doesn't happen enough possibly.

I think it is good. Friendly rivalry is most important in sport. But it is competitive, and I'm sure after tomorrow, we'll go to the singles, you know, nearly level. It's all on the last day again, which is great. That's why The Ryder Cup has worked so well over the last 20 years, because it's been close, because it's been competitive. That's why it's worked so well.

Q. Could you explain about Bernard's chips? What was so good?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I put him in very difficult positions, as I have over the years. I put him back left of 7 in two shots with a shot over and down and up and round. He thought he holed that one. At the ninth was a very similar shot, if he hit it too hard, it was 20 foot away. He hit the pin there, it spun out. Great, great golf shot.

You can see why someone like Bernard won the Masters twice, with chipping like that. You can understand why he wins the Masters. There hasn't been a person with a poor short game, you know...

Q. You have had some hard times in the United States in individual contests, not to bring up past ugly history.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: But you just have (laughter).

Q. Which I have. But having a teammate, you seem to respond and fare very well, Ryder Cup, this kind of format.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes. I mean, individually, yes, I suppose I haven't been as successful as my career should have been. I had a great opportunity in many majors over here and just walked halfway through the door and it closed on me, I'm afraid.

But I feel very comfortable playing in a team competition. It gives me more freedom, I suppose. I do enjoy it. Because I know that it's not all on me. I know if I happen to fail or don't succeed, other members will help me out.

I think it gives me more freedom to play better. I do enjoy this form of competition, yeah.

Q. I know it's impossible for you to know this at the time because you're playing, in this format where the captain is playing, Tony hit a ton of good putts today, wound up with a good result, does that give you that much more confidence, or maybe if he's out there doing what he's doing, you need to hold up your end also?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: The first match in any competition's very important. Tony and Nick Faldo are a good combination, I feel. They've been friends for many, many years. I think that's a good combination. A very good win on their half today. I'm glad to hear that Tony is holing some good putts because that has been the nemesis of him, I suppose, over the years. Glad to hear that. Look forward to tomorrow now, I suppose, Tony, to get that one out of the way, if you like.

But the first game's important, very important. I found that last September, you know, when I went out first. It is a very, very important game to try to win. They did well to hang on at the last, they did.

Q. What words would you use to describe Tony's captaincy?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Relaxed. I think it's the first time I've played under Tony Jacklin. Of course, I think this is a different captaincy than he used in The Ryder Cup. But I don't think I'm the person to ask that, because this is the first time -- I think you have to ask someone who's played under Tony in a Ryder Cup and in this event to find out the differences involved.

All I can say is Tony has done a good job pairing us together. We're ahead after the first day. He must be, as we are, delighted.

Q. Have you ever been to this part of the world before? Augusta doesn't count.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I haven't. It's a beautiful, beautiful place. You know, I've been to Kiawah obviously in the days. I've never been down here. I think it's wonderful, wonderful. I think when the weather is like this, a beautiful course like this, win, lose or draw, it doesn't really matter. It's a lovely spot to be.

End of FastScripts.

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