August 23, 2001
GORDON SIMPSON: Very nice round two symmetrical rounds of 33 for 66.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I had 25 putts, I believe, which is about five less than I usually take. So, that's why I'm here, and not sort of back having lunch. 25 putts for me is good. If I putt well, usually I'm around the leaderboard, and I putted well today, and that's the first time I've putted well for a while now. So that's encouraging. I had a disappointing last week, obviously, and it's nice to come here and put that to rest and have a good start and look forward now to the next three days.
GORDON SIMPSON: Obviously it's important, as well to get off to a flying start in a field of this quality.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sure. It's as good as a major. I know we don't have 150 guys, but the top 39 guys are here, and if you are up in the leader groups in this field, you did okay. So, it's important to not get too far behind and I have been in the past. I think I started with 74 here last year and I didn't compete the first year at all. So, it's nice to get off to a good start, and usually I can hold that now and look forward to tomorrow. You always say you are looking to improve every year.
Q. Would winning one of these events make up for disappointment in the majors?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I suppose it's all that's left, isn't it. We start the year with a number of goals, and four of which have gone by the wayside. The fifth goal, I suppose you look forward now to the Ryder Cup and look forward to that experience, and then you look at the World Golf Championship events, possibly; and having not played in the first one -- this is the second one, and I'm in contention, which is great, great to be that way. But doesn't makeup for the lack of performance in the majors, especially the third round has been disappointing. So I've got to make up for that.
Q. Was there a particular reason why you were putting better today than you had in the past?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No particular way. I've been working quite hard, actually. I worked hard on Tuesday and Wednesday here, and felt that my game was coming back; and hitting the ball to the green, and that gives me confidence on the greens, because if I'm getting there in less number of shots, well, that's going to give me confidence. And I just happened to hit the ball quite close today and took advantage of it. I enjoyed playing with Davis Love. I always have and have a lot of respect for him and we get along well so that helps, as well. So we were helping each other out there.
Q. I didn't see the TV. What happened on the par 5 16th?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: 16, I hit a 9-iron third shot just too big and fourth too hard and it went once bounce on the back of the back edge, flew to the back bunker, plugged on the back lip. So, actually I holed about a 5- or 6-footer for a 6, and then finished with a birdie at 17. And a good putt at 18 for par, which is good, because an unlucky bounce. I bounced out of the bunker, which would have been better in it and I didn't have a stance. I had to be Phil Mickelson to hit it, and I'm not. So I was about to fall back in it, so that was a good 4 I made. I got up-and-down from 134 yards there at the last hole.
Q. How important does that feel, to round off the day?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, sure you don't want to bogey the last. A few people are birdieing it. It is an open pin, actually, for the last hole; and you don't want to finish the day with a bogey. That was important to hole a good sort of 12-foot putt for par, yeah.
Q. Was it the soft conditions that let you get close to the pin today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think so, yes. It was just that type of conditioning that it wasn't too soft that the ball was spinning all over the place, and it wasn't too hard that the ball was releasing forward. So it was just the perfect conditions, and that's why you've got a lot of people under par here. I think whenever we get conditions either softer or harder than this, scoring is higher. This just happens to be perfect conditions for us now.
Q. When did you last play with Tiger, which you might tomorrow. We don't know that for a fact --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Last time I played with Tiger -- I think it was the first two days in Germany in -- what was it, the Deutsche Bank tournament.
Q. Does that bring its own special problems and excitement?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Of course, it's always -- I don't know how it's going to go, but possibly 50/50 you play with Tiger. You look forward to it, obviously. You look forward to how your game based against the best player in the world. It's always nice to try to go out and compete against him and I always enjoy it and I'm sure everyone else does, as well.
Q. You said you haven't putted this well in a while. Did you not putt well when you won in Scandinavia?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not particularly, no. I actually played very well there. I putted well in Ireland when I won, but in Scandinavia, I actually played very well. Tee-to-green, I played very well. I could not say I putted great in Scandinavia. I played well. But Ireland was the last time I putted well.
Q. Was there any Ryder Cup conversation with you and Davis today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, there was a bit, yeah, and the caddies, as well. Whether they are looking forward to it or not and what have you. Davis is asking about our selections, and, you know, who Sam is thinking about and what have you. There is a little bit of Ryder Cup conversation going on, I'm sure, when a European player plays with PGA TOUR player. I'm sure that that happens today.
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