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March 27, 1996

Colin Montgomerie


WES SEELEY: Colin Montgomery, the leading money winner on the European Tour the last three years, and the winner of the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago, and glad to have you here. How is your game this week?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Obviously having not played last week, when I take a week off, I take a week off, and haven't played, so came out here on Sunday and practiced Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, now, and obviously very confident. I just played one tournament this year and won it. I have taken the best part of three months off, and I feel very confident with what is going on.

Q. How much had you practiced before Dubai?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Nothing. I have done a clinic for Callaway in the rain for half an hour, and that is what I had done before, so...

Q. Until you got there you mean?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah. I didn't play at all. Didn't play for three months since Jamaica, so I am one those people that doesn't need to play, not when I am not around the golf tournament. I put my clubs away and leave them there, don't play at all. And came out had 18 under and was quite happy with that, and obviously I've come to America this month, I've got four tournaments here, and I am obviously as confident as I have ever been with my game right now.

Q. What are the four tournaments?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, just four in a row through the Heritage.

Q. What were your expectation in Dubai?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: My expectations were to get into contention. I didn't realize, actually, that to get into contention as quick not having played, I'd thought I was more rusty than I was, and it turned out a lot better than even I expected there.

Q. I guess much had been made of your new conditioning program.


Q. How have you lost the weight?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Dropping -- dropping fatty foods, really; things -- everything that I like I can't have. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER). And that is really what it has been. I have drank a lot of water and low fat stuff, and I have been working out. I have a personal trainer at home now. I have got a gym at home, and I have to go down to some serious fitness as well, and that has accelerated it. That made me stronger as result of it.

Q. What food do you miss the most?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Most of it now. All the wrong stuff. I miss my French fries and I miss my burgers, and all the stuff that is bad for you, but tasty at the same time.

Q. Who is your personal trainer?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: He is a guy from Riverside Club in Chiswick. He is just a personal trainer who comes to the house. He came to the house every day for two hours with me, and we worked very hard. And he has been good for me. I have got him for the rest of the year. It is a year plan. I started on January the 3rd and it is a year plan, so I sort of haven't finished yet. I want to tone up what is left and be a lot fitter than I am even now.

Q. Do you enjoy working out?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I have got to the stage of enjoying it now. The first couple of months was hard work, yeah, I couldn't say I enjoyed myself at all. But I knew I was doing something constructive during my time off, so I kept going with it.

Q. How much do you weigh now?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: About 210 something.

Q. Down from what?


Q. What is your goal, Colin; how far down do you want to go?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I want to get about to around about 200 -- 200 mark or so now. I am just under 6' 1", so around about the 200 mark I will be happier with and fitter. 200 would be fine. I will be much happier around that weight. 205, something like that.

Q. Do you feel more energized or has it translated into your game at all?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I have got to be careful out on the course because I tend not to eat enough and getting to the end of a round is when the mental side of it takes over more than the golf. And I have got to be careful, I have got to eat on the course. But yes, I feel better because of it, sure.

Q. What is the specific day's workout for you, can you run through it?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah. I mean, I do sort of 20 minutes on a bike to warm up. When I started, that was the workout. Now it is just me warming up now. So we have improved. 20 minutes warm-up; then I go about a 40 minute run, which includes squats and all sorts of push-ups and sit-ups on the run, and then back in to do some weight training on my legs and backside, and then sort of stretching out as well. So it is a full total workout.

Q. How long does this last, this workout, can you tell us?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Best part of two hours.

Q. You said he comes every day. You mean five days a week?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sometimes on the weekends as well when I haven't -- five or six days a week he has been coming. Sometimes I have had other things to do with the family, so come the weekends as well.

Q. What do you do then on the Tour when you are not at home?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is obviously more difficult, but the hotels that we tend to stay in have facilities there so you can bike around somewhere and a rowing machine, or whatever I have been doing down here.

Q. So at least you get a partial --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah. I can partially do it. It is much easier when you are at home.

Q. Did you have to throw out a bunch of pairs of pants?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I did. These are all new clothes. I have gone down at least a size in everything, and so it has caused some problems with the clothes thing with the Pringle clothing, especially, and stuff like that. But, yeah, I am quite delighted to do so.

Q. What do you think about the long-term for you from a career standpoint?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I didn't actually do it to improve my golf. I felt that my golf was okay. I wasn't suffering. I just felt that watching videos of myself, I just wasn't looking so much like an athlete, I suppose. And I haven't done it for my golf, I have done it for my myself, really. It wasn't sort of a career move. It was just something that I wanted to do; to do something constructive in that three months off, and that is what I decided to do. But in saying that, I mean, since I only played one tournament since then and won it, so I can't say it has done me any harm.

Q. Did it not worry you? I mean, a lot of people either start working out or lose a lot of weight, and it takes time for them to adjust with the swing. Did that worry you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. We have done it professionally. I have left my upper body alone so it doesn't get tight, or it doesn't affect my swing. But the legs, the legs are stronger than they ever were. And we have done it professionally. It wasn't just a haphazard thing. You can get into trouble if you do it on your own and you lose weight and strength and what have you. So there is nothing wrong with the game at all. It is as good as it ever was; if not better.

Q. Do you feel more alert mentally? Do you think that will help you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes. Yes, I do. I just feel fitter myself, and feel better about myself walking around the place.

Q. Is your whole family eating this way?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I was the only one that was overweight in my family. No, no, my wife has always been quite fit, so I have never -- no, I am the only one.

Q. Didn't you play team games at school?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I didn't play team games?

Q. Well, did you --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I did. The Courage team. I was away at school, and golf wasn't encouraged. So I did play team games, yes.

Q. I guess the last few years we have been always asking about your American breakthrough and not winning a tournament.


Q. Is it getting frustrated?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Just when you mention it. Yeah, obviously to get as close as I have, I only come over here in brief occasions, so it is obviously more difficult for me. We are not playing full-time here to actually win. I come over for these tournaments and the Majors, obviously, they are the strongest fields of the year, so I make it hard for myself, but at the same time, I am still learning and have come close in two Majors to lose in two playoffs within the years that I have been coming here. I am actually quite happy with that. If that breakthrough comes this year or whenever it might come, I will be ready for it.

Q. Have you thought about Augusta, changing a game plan there? Sometimes I know the golf course itself has frustrated you.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, a little bit. It is not suited to my style of game, U.S. Open and US PGA is not my favorite Majors if you like the British Open and the Masters is different in that way. I have just got to step (sic) on some putts at the Masters. That's what keeps you and gets you into contention is actually the putting. I haven't putted well there in the five times I have been there. Let us hope this year I can get going. I feel I am putting as well, if not better than I ever had so it just a matter of getting some in, and keeping it going.

Q. A lot of people would like to be able to play as well as they can; not to say as well you do without practicing. Why are you able to play so well on so little practice?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think I don't -- the less practice I have, the less chance I have of any negative thoughts coming into the game. I don't tend to overdo it. I try and keep as fresh as I possibly can. I don't get stale. And avoids me overhearing people -- other peoples' problems on the range; avoids me tinkering with other equipment: Shafts and clubs and all sorts. And I have brought 14 clubs with me this tournament. That is what I am going to stick to, been caught out before here with the amount of amount of the equipment and talk about the game and what have you, you can get too involved in the whole thing and I try and keep away from that and keep the whole thing as simple and straightforward as possible. It has been to my benefit.

Q. Technique too?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Technique is a similar as simple as Bill Ferguson and I can keep it that way. Very few things go wrong. He hasn't said much at all out there the last three days which is encouraging. So it is just a matter of going out there and playing the game, and -- I am very fortunate to be able to say that that I just go out there and play. I am not thinking about anything in the swing apart from where the ball is going to go.

Q. All the time you have worked with Bill, what is the longest you have spent on the practice ground?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: We spent an hour once, I think. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER).

Q. Really?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Which was at Dubai, first time Dubai we went about an hour before we went onto the course and started playing. And I felt good then. That was on Sunday morning. I got to it Saturday; I felt obviously a bit of rust in there and I had four days practice and by Wednesday, I was sort of not doing much at all. I was ready to go. We don't spend much time.

Q. Have you been out with Bill?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not that long here, no. No. Sort of just half an hour before we go and play. Once I have got what I am doing and once I have got the grip right or the stance right, whatever we are thinking about, well, then we leave. We don't --

Q. How old were you when he first trained you, eight years old?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I used to caddie for him when I was about 8, yeah, I used to caddie for him. He has been teaching me since I was about 10. We have been together 22 years about, together.

Q. No videotapes?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Never. (LAUGHTER). Video. Frightening, video tapes, scary. No.

Q. Your regime is in stark contrast to the men you admire in golf.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I mean, we have different methods. There is always different methods about anything in sport. I am sure you'd say the same about some tennis players. Some work for 10 hours a day and some that don't, and I am just fortunate to say that I have got to the position now in golf that I am glad about and happy about and it is not bust and I am not in any rush to fix it, you know, and I just -- it is going okay and I am going to keep that method of playing golf the way I do and it is going well right now. So I am in no rush to go out and try and change anything.

Q. You did once say a couple of years ago when you were weighing more than you are now, that you -- you'd often wondered what it was like to play golf feeling fit.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I have played one tournament feeling fit and I have won it. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER). So can't say more than that, can I?

Q. It is a good feeling?


Q. Rest of your American schedule for the year; do you know?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I am just coming over here six times in America this year. I have got the other two Majors and I have got this four week trip that is six tournaments I am playing in the states this year.

Q. Nothing before the Open U.S. Open?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I am playing in Europe then, yeah, because I have started late in Europe. I feel like I have got to make up ground. I am still playing 20 tournaments in Europe and six over here; that is about the same I did last year.

Q. I guess does that make it more difficult just coming in for one week not really getting acclimated at all?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, it does, I suppose, but you know, I have got so close doing it that way before to winning one of them, I feel I just do the same thing. I flew into Los Angeles on a Monday and did okay there and I flew into Oakmont on a Monday as well and did okay there, so it is not as if I feel I have to play there three our four weeks beforehand leading up to it. This particular trip here is important to start off with such a big event as this one. It is a great event; then it leads up to Atlanta in through The Masters so it is a perfect run.

Q. You had the Heritage this year after the Masters was won. You are obviously here for the Heritage--

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I heard so much about the Heritage being such a good tournament and good course tight course with small greens and that possibly will favor me, and this year I decided just to stay an extra week, really. There is nothing not a lot happening in Europe at that stage, and I just felt that I would stay over and play one more.

Q. How is this event thought of in Europe? I mean, obviously it is not a major, but how close is it to being --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is the next thing to it, isn't it?

Q. Yes.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: As a winning point of view, I am sure the winner on Sunday would feel he has almost won a major, you know, it is a shame it almost doesn't carry that status, because as the course goes and as the field goes you will find no better. Golf is, isn't it, after all, beating the world's best; that proves yourself, so the world's best are here this week, and I think it is good.

Q. Do you like this golf course?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I do indeed. Yeah, I think it is a very good golf course, very good golf course.

Q. What do you like about it?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is just sort of a total golf package that the U.S. Open, you have to play around there and US PGA the same, you can't get away with any shots at all. You got to hit golf shots around here. You can't -- there is no wayward driving. There is no huge greens. It is just a very good overall 18 hole golf course.

Q. If you could be so charming and relaxed and engaging and sometimes we see the other side of you when you get agitated and mad, quick tempered. Is that side of you good, bad, have you tried to work on that as well, just as you look at your career up to this point and in the future how does that play up?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think I am maturing at the same time. There is no self doubt anymore. None at all. I think I am maturing as a person and a player, and you see less and less of that possibly. I still have got to have a fire and desire and ambition to win. That is why I am here. So I need that at the same time. But possibly more inwardly than in recent years, possibly.

Q. Is winning the order of merit again a top priority and is that why you are playing in Europe so much?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: You say playing in Europe so much. 20 tournaments isn't excessive, I don't think, really. Is it a priority? If I get into a position where I can win, I suppose it becomes a priority after the US PGA we will look have a look at the situation and see how we are doing. But the priority is up and to including the US PGA. That is the priority this year. Having won it three times now, the fourth time doesn't mean as much as the first time, but it would be nice to achieve obviously.

Q. Would you like to beat Ooster's five in a row?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: He won four in a row, I suppose, records are there -- I am not into records as much as that, but it would be nice to achieve. I have never gone down in the order of merit in Europe in my eight years, and why start now?

Q. Can you just reiterate the reasons why you play Europe as opposed to -- I guess Faldo is here now and Ernie has based himself here. Have you reconsidered it at all?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Ernie didn't really have a home, so that made a lot of sense. Nick is over here for, I don't know how long. I am actually -- I actually thought about it five years ago to trying to think about coming over here, got married and settled down in London and I am with two small children now that are school age and I am very happy with where I am, the house I am and my wife is very happy and as long as she is happy and I am happy. And she is happy there, so that is where we are. And I enjoy Europe as well. But I enjoy my six or seven weeks that I come over here as well. I have got the best of both worlds.

WES SEELEY: Anything else for Colin Montgomerie?

End of FastScripts.....

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