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June 19, 1994

Colin Montgomerie


LES UNGER: Have you been in playoffs before and if so --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I have been in two playoffs in Europe. One in the PGA Championship when Seve birdied the first hole and beat me, and the other one against Sandy Lyle (phonetic) in the Volvo Masters at the end of last year when I bogeyed the 10th hole, the first playoff hole. So in saying that, I am glad that I have 18 holes in time.

LES UNGER: General comments about your round, please.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Setting out I had thought 6 under would be good enough, and I thought when I finished I was one light -- one shot light. I wasn't expecting the way the last hole was playing downwind -- driver wedge I hit, I wasn't expecting Loren or Ernie to make 5 on the last hole. So they gave me a lifeline there and I am excited and looking forward to trying to take it tomorrow.

Q. There was a report that you were ready to leave the course just before when Loren was putting out, and you were in a car, was that true?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not at all. No. I stayed and watched the hole. That was not at all true.

Q. On 16, when you had the 6-iron fly to the back of the green, you made some comments off the tee that we picked up from television, there's no way the ball could keep going like that. When you left 16, I just want you to comment about what you were talking about on the tee and then when you left the green, did you feel you were out of the championship at that point?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I felt, on 16, that I hit a decent 3-iron and it just hit the rock hard green and went through the back, and I couldn't believe that it had gone so far through into the thick rough. That was all I was saying to my caddie.

Q. Did you think you were in the championship when you made bogey there?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I didn't make bogey at 16.

Q. I am sorry. When you say par, I am sorry, did you think you were still in the championship parring 16?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Definitely, yes. I barely birdied for the six under and that was my target.

Q. Knowing you needed the birdie at 17, did you ever consider hitting a driver there?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. No, I have never done it. It's a thing that you never experiment; especially in the major championship. You never experiment anything, and I never done it in practice and I wasn't about to start now. I didn't know where to hit it or anything, so I never even thought about doing that. No, I am actually pretty good with my sand wedge from 80 yards, that is exactly the distance I left myself up. So I was quite happy with that.

Q. What kind of thoughts were going through your head over to your left on 11, 12, 13, it seemed to be slipping away?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Pretty negative ones. After hitting the fairway at 11, after parring 10, and hitting the fairway at 11, I felt very confident, very confident and only 9 iron to go at 11, and to go bogey, bogey, bogey after that was not so good. But my birdie at 14 got me back again and then lost it again at 15. It was an up and down day for everybody concerned and that was my down in other words.

Q. Considering the fact that you thought you were out of it when they were going to 18, do you feel that you have nothing to lose tomorrow, that you can go in without any kind of pressure?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah. I mean, I feel I am sort of one up really because they have both had a chance to win and haven't managed to take it. I never really had that opportunity as such, the same opportunities as they had. So I feel confident for tomorrow because of that feeling.

Q. Colin, looking back on the week, Tuesday you are taking fluids intravenously; had you ever given any thought of withdrawing at that point or what have you done during the four rounds to contend with the heat?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I was glad they got some Gatorade or Powerade on the tees for the second round, I believe it came out, which was very helpful for me. We all suffer, everybody is suffering. I am not any different from anybody else. I think we have all got used to it now, and, you know, tomorrow is only going to be 93, I think, so it's going to be great.

Q. Would you please talk about the condition of the greens today?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I didn't really notice it on the front 9 but I did on the back 9 that the pin placements were very, very tough and the greens were firming up to an extent when it was becoming very difficult to make par on any hole. USGA say they have 6 easy, 6 medium, and 6 hard pin placement. I don't know where the 6 easy and 6 medium went.

LES UNGER: Anyone else?

Q. Would you comment on the failure of European players in the U.S. Open as opposed to say British Open and Masters championship?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I don't know what it is. I think it is just coincidence that we happen to have done well in the British Open and the Masters. I don't think it has anything to do with the way the courses are set up or anything like that. I am just -- I think it is just a coincidence thing that we haven't done particularly well in the U.S. Open.

Q. You were watching obviously the end of the tournament. Did you see Arnie's drive on 17 and the drop he got there and your thought on --

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I was actually signing the card at that time. . I watched Loren Roberts' shot come into the last, and I knew it was going to be difficult to get out of it in two at that stage because neither of us have been in this position before, and you have to accept that, that neither of us have won a major championship before and the pressures are very different from a normal tournament. We have all won tournaments, but this is very different, and you have to accept that there is going to be more mistakes made than there are birdies at that stage.

Q. Do you think you have a better chance to win when there is an 18 hole playoffs rather than sudden death?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, having an 0 and 2 record in playoffs with sudden death, I am delighted that I got a full 18. I can go out and triple or quadruple the first hole tomorrow and I am still playing; it is great.

Q. First experience for 18 in the playoff?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. This is the only tournament in the world that has it, so I haven't been in the U.S. Open playoff before.

Q. Even though it is a stroke play finish, there is a match play sort of feel to it. Do you watch your background in match play where you have had an opponent directly in front of you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, you see, that is the thing, I have had an opponent before, I haven't had opponents before. And it would be matchplay if it was one on one, but it is not, so it is more of a stroke-play competition now than it would be if it was only 2 people.

Q. Was this the Open nobody wanted to take this afternoon, Colin?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It appeared that way, but as I said earlier, neither of us had won a major championship before so obviously it was going to be more mistakes made than there were birdies and that was proved through the course; it was becoming very difficult. The back nine on this course is very, very difficult. I played it in 3-over, I believe, 2-over, I believe with a couple of birdies.

Q. If you had a handicap of the field tomorrow, I mean, who would you reckon is a favorite based on experience and all that?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, neither of us have been in this position before, so as I say, we have all won tournaments, but it is nothing like this. I suppose I am the only one who have experienced Ryder Cup pressure, and that is something different again. I managed to 2-putt the last hole today from 30 foot, holed a 4-footer; if that was for the Ryder Cup, I am not exactly sure it would have gone in as easily. At least I experienced Ryder Cup pressure before and Loren and Ernie haven't. So.. But I mean it is in the luck of the Gods tomorrow.

Q. Most of the playoffs have resulted in overpar scores by the players. Considering what happened today, do you expect the scores to be pretty high tomorrow?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I do. I think level par would be good enough to win tomorrow. They'll birdie obviously and they got double the mistakes, what have you, but yeah, I won't expect the scoring to be well under par tomorrow, because the courts is becoming very, very difficult.

Q. Do you have a number in your mind?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, one less than the other two.

LES UNGER: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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