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July 19, 2002

Colin Montgomerie


STEWART McDOUGAL: Colin Montgomerie 64, 7 under par and now four under for the championship, a wonderful round. Take us through it.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, the most important thing I couldn't really afford to do today was after the most disappointing 74 yesterday was not drop a shot and that's what I didn't do and any time you do that around any course; especially on a course of this quality means that everything seems to be in order. The driving is in order, there in play and also the chipping and putting, so that all goes well for the weekend. That's the most important thing that happened today that I can take from today, for getting the score or whatever happened was I didn't drop a shot. If I can keep doing that, I have a chance here.

Q. Did you take a more aggressive attitude?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Slightly more aggressive. The wind had changed and for instance, the 1st hole is now playing into the wind and of course, instead of hitting a 3-iron and 7-iron as I did yesterday, it was a 3-wood and a 3-iron, so it was a most different hole. So some holes were more aggressive obviously because the wind direction, and others were even safer. So it played differently, but I had to do something. 74 was very disappointing yesterday.

Q. (Inaudible) Can you explain why when it seemed to be more benign yesterday, the scores weren't so good and today they're better?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: John, you've been around long enough to realize, that's golf. Okay? Sometimes when you think you should do something, it doesn't happen. We're all expecting Tiger to go out today in certain benign conditions and shoot 66. Well, it doesn't always happen. It might not happen. It might happen. Who knows. That's why we're all here. If it was a cut and dried decision, we would all go home.

Q. What was your team-talk about this morning?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Team-talk. There was no team-talk as such. We just got on with it. We just found we could swing the club okay this morning, which is always a bonus and get on the first tee and go. And I was fortunate that the 3-iron at 1st went to 20 foot and it went and okay, that's great. So that was fortunate to get off to such a good start, a flying start to birdie the first because it's a very, very difficult hole.

Q. You seemed to drive it very well today. (Inaudible)

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't think attacking the course is really the right thing to do. Obviously there will be occasions where like the 15th or 14th, for instance, 14 and 15 where I used 2-iron shots yesterday, I was two drivers today, just because of the wind direction, and of course, the course was playing longer due to the wet fairways anyway. And it's much softer than it was yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon it was becoming much more of a links golf course. Today it's a much different golf course altogether. I'll use driver when I feel the need, but I won't be too aggressive and lose out that way.

Q. You seemed to be taking in the support of the crowd today. How important is that to you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: The crowd was tremendous, and also yesterday, as well. When they realized I was having problems around the turn yesterday. They got behind me on 13, 14, 15, which was super, but today even walking on the first tee, 3 over par, lying in, God knows, what 100 and odd position, the support was tremendous from first off, and walking up the last here in Scotland with that support was terrific, especially the way I finished as well. To hit a good 3-wood, 4-iron in there to 12 foot and to finish it off properly was a delight.

Q. You were quite naturally and understandably a little depressed at the end of yesterday's round. How did you start to lift yourself?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I was fortunate after yesterday. If I happen to play early/late, I would have had 24 hours plus to dwell on a 74 and I would have read your newspapers, probably. (Laughter) So I didn't. And I didn't have time to dwell on it, so I just had room service last night, had a good think and went out this morning and it was -- fortunately played late/early than early/late.

Q. (Inaudible)

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Your reporter just asked me a question that the conditions were very difficult yesterday, and they weren't so we got off to a bad start.

Q. (Inaudible)

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I've just spoken to Radio 5 live and the piece is broken out (laughter) Sven.

Q. Are you in any way motivated by criticism to increase your motivation?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: There's only one person that's affected by anything, and I didn't want -- 74 yesterday was so disappointing, I wanted to go out and prove to one person I can do this and there is nobody here - with all respect to you all - that I wanted to prove it to and it was me, that I can prove I can still do this and compete at this level and I wanted to prove that to myself and I did that today. 64 around here is a good score, without dropping a shot.

Q. Is this a satisfying Open day as you have found?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, this ranks up there with obviously the first day last year. To be 3 ahead after one day is a good effort in any tournament especially an Open but this happens to be my lowest score in an Open - I've had two 65s before but never a 64, so it proves I can play the game and I'm looking forward to the weekend, especially the way I'm swinging the club now.

Q. Apart from "That's golf," how do you explain last Friday, you were in such despair, Saturday you played a terrific round; today exceptional?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's just the way it goes, I'm afraid. You can't explain it. If it was explainable, we would all be doing better, I think. I think it's just one of those unexplainable things. This is why this is the beauty of the game of golf, you can score a very poor 74 yesterday and a good 64 today. As I said earlier, that's why we're all here.

Q. The last tee shot you hit today was --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not very good, no. Of yours.

Q. No: (Laughter)

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: What was your question?

Q. You said you took yourself off and had a little think or even a big think?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Actually a big think. Most of you could have cleared that rough, I'm afraid, last hole yesterday, and it was 207 yards to clear or something and I didn't do it. It was a disappointing shot. And that frame when I just missed out on a birdie on 17 to do that at 18 to finish 5 5 was very disappointing yesterday.

Q. What conclusions did you come to after your big think?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That I've got to do something about it. I changed my clubs actually last night. I went into the car and I found another set and I thought oh, bugger, I'll put them in. They worked. It's a new set of Callaways that seem to be working better than the old ones did, so I'll keep them in. But nothing in particular, I just didn't -- I wasn't completing my backswing yesterday. I was getting short and quick and I thinned the ball, and that's what happened at the 18th tee yesterday.

Q. Is that an old set or new set?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: They're advertising them on the way to the Open. I saw myself on a big screen as I drove in and I said "That's me, oh, God," and I am using a club I've never used before, a Big Bertha iron, and so I got them to make me up a set for me on Tuesday and I didn't use them on Thursday, but I used them today.

Q. Who are you giving your old ones to?


Q. There seems to be a sentiment the way this golf course is set up is wonderful in the sense that Augusta and the U.S. Open just lengthened the course making it easier for the longer hitter. (Inaudible) Do you prefer this kind of thing? Did they make a mistake in doing that, do you think?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Please don't put words in my mouth that that was the case. But at the same time, I'm glad that he every Par 4 on this course doesn't have to be 490 yards long. We played a course last week, Loch Lomond, the two best Par-4s I think 9 and 14 measuring under 360 yards , and I feel that sometimes we're going away from that fact that because it's 490 doesn't have to make it good. You can set up a course with bunkering and rough that is better than that, I feel, but I never said they weren't, I just said this course seems -- everybody that's played here that I've talked to seem to feel this is the fairest and best set up that we have in Major Championship golf right now.

Q. Did you think you did too much damage(inaudible)

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Initially, of course, yes, I mean, 3 over isn't a good starting point, to be honest with you. I'm always a great advocate of saying you can only lose it the first round; you can never win it. I was in a very strong case of losing it last night, but I have to take on - if you add these two scores together, two 69s if you like at four under at the start of the week, I would have taken that. That's where I am right now and that's where I've got to focus on right now. All I've done is two 69s which is four under par and it's the top 10 and that's exactly where I want to be.

Q. What did you learn -- (inaudible)?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I don't know until I actually come to that situation again. Leading is a very different situation than coming from a situation from behind. Leading an Open for that length of time, if you like, is a difficult task. Coming from behind, scoring 64 on a Friday morning is a lot easier. So hopefully, if I do get into that position again, leading, that I can look back on what happened last year and I can use it positively.

Q. (Inaudible)

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Just to keep going; not to let this go. I want to keep this momentum going. I know I can win. I've never been frightened of winning ever. I've never been frightened of winning here. I think my last hole proved that, I wouldn't have made 3 on the last round, so I'm not frightened of winning. I've just got to use that psychology, if you like, in a positive way over the weekend.

Q. How much of a factor was the rain and how much wind was out there?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: There was more wind than there was yesterday. It was a very -- because it was misty and sort of a heavy day, the wind wasn't really affecting shots to that degree. It wasn't that bad. I don't think it's going to get bad through the day. I think it will remain this type of day all day, good Scottish summers day.

Q. Overall you putted a great deal better right now than you were a year ago. Going into the weekend, does that give you more confidence that at least by Sunday (inaudible) --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It was the putting that let me down last year, and David Duval can say the opposite last year. My putting let me down in this Championship last year and hopefully I'm putting a lot better now and hopefully that won't happen again.

Q. What was the length of the eagle putt on 5?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It was about 25, 30 foot, possibly.

Q. Uphill lie?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, yes, it broke in from the left. I was fortunate my 3-wood shot hit the green that slopes right to left as opposed to back to front, and I came down on the right level at least and it gave me a chance, but just almost from 30 foot, it's fortunate if it drops in.

Q. Is Andy, your caddy particularly helping you this year. He won in '87 here. (Inaudible) --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: He was with somebody very different then in Faldo but it is good that you have somebody on the bag that has won here before. It's very encouraging and very positive for me to have someone on the bag that's won a tournament around this course. There is very few out here that have. So it's important to have him now at the weekend. We can get our way around here, we can find our way around here. We did today.

Q. Has he said anything in particular to you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not particularly, no. We get the yardage, we get the club, and today we did very well. We never missed a green on the wrong side. And that was important. Yesterday we were making the odd mistake where we were missing greens and fairways on the wrong side. Today we weren't. And that's why I didn't drop a shot. I was positive enough to score 7 under, but played enough percentage golf not to drop a shot. And that's the most important thing, forget birdies and eagles, it was the lack of bogeys that was important today.

STEWART McDOUGAL: Colin, thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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