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May 22, 2003

Colin Montgomerie


RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you very much for joining us. A nice start to the week, a 69.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It was nice, all over the place at the last. It was difficult. Very difficult, the swirling winds, very difficult but the scoring is actually quite good. The cut has come at level par, even today, which shows the standard now, I think that would have been 2-over about five or six years ago. It's now level.

So, there's a big difference in the standard of play throughout the Tour and it's becoming tighter and stronger and better for it. So it's good.

But 3-under is okay. It's a decent start. It's not a good start but it's not a bad start. It's a start.

Q. 3-wood still out of the bag?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: 3-wood is still out of the bag, yes. Ernie probably just chipped in again for another eagle, which we are all delighted about. (Hearing a roar from the crowd).

Q. Changing your caddie --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes. You don't want me in here about my score at all. (Laughter.)

Q. You changed your caddie. Can I ask why?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Just wanted a change. Just wasn't gelling very well. Lovely bloke, Andy, a lovely guy. Nothing personal at all; just professional. And he did a great thing today to caddie for me, knowing that this is his last week with me, win, lose or draw. Good of him to want to do the job and want to go out with a bang and want to go out with a win, and I want to do it as much for him as much as doing it for myself.

Q. Could he have walked away today?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Of course he did, and he didn't. Good of him.

Q. When did you tell him?


Q. Why Stevie?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: He was the only guy bigger than me on the Tour. It means I look really good, you know.

Q. When Faldo and Prodge parted, Faldo said, "He didn't talk enough to me, and there were times when I wasn't playing well when I wanted him to say something to me." Is there a little bit of that?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's difficult to say. I don't want to go into other relationships with caddies. I just feel that it wasn't gelling as well for me as an individual, and hopefully Andy will find a very good bag, because he deserves one. He's one of the best caddies out here. It just wasn't gelling for me personally, that's all.

Q. When did you start feeling like that?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, just the last couple of months, really. But I've only changed caddies -- that's my second change in 12 years. That's not bad.

Q. What qualities do you see in Stevie; what appeals to you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: He's a character. And hopefully I am. I think we've always got on very well on the range. I've been asking other players that he has caddied for in the past about him and I've done my homework. I feel that he's the best guy for me right now. I'm looking forward to starting with him next week, but priorities first. I'm anxious to leave with a win for Andy as much as myself.

Q. You played a practice round with him at TPC at Sawgrass?


Q. Did you make up your mind then?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, no. Not particularly. I've always got on with him. Because Denis Pugh happens to coach Stevie and myself, the practice round was arranged. It wasn't the fact of the caddies.

Q. How did Stevie take it?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I phoned Steve Leaney and said that I had spoke to Stevie. And Big Steve we'll call him for the sake of argument, it was up to big Stevie then. It wasn't a contractual arrangement, and that's what I was asking between the other parties. It's always difficult. There's never a good way of dealing with this situation but I felt I did the right thing. I asked my new caddie, Steve and then I phoned Steve Leaney and then I contacted Andy, so I did the whole thing in the proper order of events. And I hope Steve Leaney had a good day today without Big Stevie, if you like, and he did well.

Q. You must have ice in your veins, you just set your caddie, go around and shoot a score of 3-under.


Q. If Little Stevie, shall we call him --


Q. Said he was less than enamored about the way you dealt with it, would you be surprised? You say you felt you did it right. If he said he felt you didn't do it right, would you be surprised and disappointed? Shall I explain? He thought you should have rung him first before you spoke with the caddie. That was his viewpoint.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That was his view. I thought I was doing it right. There's no point in me talking to Stephen Leaney without knowing that the caddie wanted to caddie for me in the first place, so I had to go to the caddie first, I felt, but let's not make this a big issue here, come on. These things happen, okay. Life goes on. And Steve Leaney, good luck to him. He shot 69 today, which is a hell of a score, because he caught me.

Q. He's caddying at the Memorial and U.S. Open --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's why I asked him last night and that's why I had to do it last night, as opposed to the end of the week, mainly to give Steve Leaney a chance of finding an opportunity for next week as well. I thought I was doing the right thing, and if I haven't, I apologize, but at the same time, I don't feel I have to.

End of FastScripts....

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