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June 17, 1994

Colin Montgomerie


LES UNGER: Would it be fair to say that in a major event is your best or close to your best round ever.

COLIN MONTGOMERY: That is not that is at good as I can do, I think with one bogey and five birdies and an eagle. That is about my limit and a lot of peoples' limit, I think. And a course like this, I am very happy with the way I am playing. I have been playing good in Europe, been in contention the last three or four weeks. I won one of them and threw away one of them, but I am in contention more and more now, and I am certainly in contention here. That was the goal at the start of the year to get into contention in major golf championships. I missed the cut at the Masters by a shot, but that course doesn't suit me, the U. S. Open courses suit my game by the way I hit most fairways. So I am looking forward to the weekend.

Q. Did you attribute any of today's rounds in the change of the conditions at all?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: The greens were certainly slightly more receptive, I suppose, but the speed of them wasn't any less. I just played better.

Q. What is the distinction for you between The Masters and this course. What is the Masters now this course does?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: That doesn't favor my play, here it does. I can hit every fairway. That is, I can't do that at The Masters, so I am struggling at Augusta to try and work the ball the other way. That is the main difference between that and here.

Q. Can you go back over two years ago Pebble Beach when Nicholas congratulated you for winning the Open. How well did you play that day, and did you believe him when he said it?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: I think I wasn't the only one that believed him. I think when I finished at Pebble Beach, when I finished, I could see no other result. The conditions weren't getting any easier. It was very, very difficult. And I finished at level par. I thought that might be good enough. Here it is different. You know, we're not expecting 50 mile an hour winds. We will see what happens over the weekend.

LES UNGER: I believe he was finished when the leaders were on the 7th or 8th hole; is that right?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: I was actually speaking at ABC television and Tom Kite clipped in at 7. So, yeah, he was on the 7th green at the time. So I had a long two and a half hours to wait.

Q. Colin, are you coping with the heat better, getting more used to it?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: I think I am. I am getting more used to it. You never really cope with it 100%, but you just have to. It is the concentration levels. It is difficult, because the play is very slow, and over five hours in that heat with practice you are out there for six hours. It is a lot to concentrate fully. I was glad that I could come back in 32 under these conditions. I'm obviously getting better.

Q. Could you see Jack in the booth today and did he say anything to you?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: Yeah, he said well played this time.

Q. What about the heat of major championship pressure, leading a tournament going into the weekend, how do you think you are going to handle it?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: Couple of the last few holes, Pebble Beach two years ago, there was noises in the crowd. I had to finish with 3 pars to win and it wasn't easy. I managed to birdie 16. Okay, I dropped my 17 which was playing at par 4 and up and down well at the last, and I held a 4 foot putt at the last which went in the middle of the hole which I was glad about. So I am sort of looking forward to the pressures actually. I have nothing to lose right now. I wanted to get in contention in major championship. I am certainly that. It is just a matter of going out and playing the same type of golf that got me in this position over the weekends. That means hitting the fairways and greens in the right position. My caddie and I are working well together for that. There is a way of playing these courses, and we tend to be doing it very well right now.

Q. Speaking of pressure, now that you are alone and not on a team, is this more intense for you than the Ryder Cup?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: No. The Ryder Cup is something completely different. This is if I lose or if I don't win the U.S. Open, I have just hurt myself, there is no big deal. The Ryder Cup is completely different. I am shaking for a week in the Ryder Cup. I am not shaking now.

Q. How did you deal with it today? Were you just drinking fluids constantly? You were not wearing a hat coming down some fairways?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: Yeah, there was a weather warning out there and the sun went in, thank goodness, around about 4:15, so I decided the hat had to go because it actually does make you sweat more. But, I mean, the reason I take my hat off and on all the time is because I hit it. My follow through hits it. I have got a very high follow through and it hits the back of the hat so I have to take it off for playing. But I have to use it, obviously, for chipping and putting because of the sun. The heat, but the conditions were slightly better today than they were yesterday.

Q. This course was originally designed by its founder to be like a British ^ satisfy side Links course. Do you find -- except for the trees that have grown up in recent years, is there any feeling of that as you play?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: Not really, no. No, I think all the tree-lined fairways, and the rough, and there is no relation to satisfy side Links course at all really, no. It is also not very windy, so...

Q. Colin, this tournament hasn't been kind to foreign players; only three since 1927. What significance does that have to you?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: A great significance. Tony Jackson was the last Britt to win this tournament 24 years ago, I believe, 1970. So it means a lot to British golf for someone to emulate this--, and I am just happy to be in a position to do that. But, yeah, I mean, the U.S. Open and the U.S.P.G.A. have been European. We haven't done that well really. The Masters and the British Open we have (inaudible) very well with, but this particular tournament, I don't know what it is.

Q. Earlier in the week there was a lot of talk from pros who said they didn't think they would use their drivers very often. And my very unofficial count, you used eight today. Do you have that much confidence using it?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: I do indeed. My driver is a strange club in my bag and has been over the last three years, and that is why I have probably done well. I don't mind hitting a driver on most holes-- I hit it down the left side of the fairway and fade it into the middle usually and it has been working for two days. Let us hope it can continue.

Q. Which tournament did you win and where were you in contention?

COLIN MONTGOMERY: I won the Spanish Open a month ago, and I was in contention Alfred Dunhill Open the Belgium Open was two ahead of Bernard Langer going into the last round and I threw that away. I shot 77 the last day, Bernard shot 75 as well. We both gave it away, but it was in the last group in Hamburg the week before I came over here, so I am playing good. I am playing safe game of golf that is needed to do well in U.S. Opens.

LES UNGER: Everybody happy? Congratulations.


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