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November 9, 2005

Colin Montgomerie


GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome to the HSBC Champions Tournament, for Colin Montgomerie, winner of the Order of Merit for the eighth time. Believe it or not, the race for No. 9 starts now.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, it's amazing that we start the 2006 season already in 2005, but here we are. It's a new event and we are all excited about it. There's very few new events in the world of golf, because the calendar year is so full and it's exciting that we're playing here. I'm excited about playing here myself and I'm playing well. I look forward to doing well and starting, as you say, to try and win the Order of Merit, ha ha. I certainly don't need that one, I tell you. I've got a big, big tee shirt for that and I don't need that. But I'm looking forward to playing well and excited to be here.

GORDON SIMPSON: I know it's only ten days since it's happened, but has it been a particularly sweet feeling the last ten days knowing what you've achieved, reflecting on it?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, as I said, I was very happy and quite proud of myself actually for what I've achieved. I would have been happy really with a top ten finish in Europe this year. But to win the Order of Merit again is a huge bonus and a delight.

So to get me back to a position that I afforded myself for many years here in Europe and I enjoyed that position and looking forward to the responsibilities that position comes with, if you like, and I look forward to starting tomorrow playing with Tiger tomorrow, I look forward to that, and look forward to doing well again.

Q. You've always played well in the Ryder Cup, just wondering what is it about the Ryder Cup that makes you perform so well?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'm very happy within a team environment, and it gives me confidence knowing that I have other players that can back me up in case I mess up. So because of that, I don't mess up. It's a Catch 22 thing.

I enjoy the match play game, and always look forward to the Ryder Cup. Especially this time in Ireland, it's going to be fantastic in Ireland, it will be a fantastic event for everybody concerned and we look forward to competing there again.

Q. Tomorrow you're paired with Tiger, is it going to be difficult playing the course rather than actually playing him, or is that not going to be a problem, having played with him before?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think the first time, people tend to first time you play with Tiger, I got caught up in that the first time I played with him in 1997 at Augusta. But you tend to get caught up playing him and trying to play his game, if you like and managed to realize that I'm not going to do that.

So we will be playing our own game and looking forward to it again. Always when you play with the best player of our generation, it's interesting and a good experience. You obviously what goes on; and it's interesting, Thursday and Friday, I'm looking forward to it.

Q. In planning for next year, what do you have to be wary of; back at the top, are you going to concentrate on playing more events, few fewer events, would going hard or what?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, good question. I won't be playing as much, I don't think, as I did this year. I had to play a lot this year to get back to where I wanted to be, and I'm very tired, actually right now. I'm physically and mentally whacked. The Volvo Masters, I was speaking to Alastair there on the range haven't seen him for a week, it's as if he after the Volvo Masters, he had jet lag the whole week and I was a bit the same last week, very tired and lethargic afterwards. It was such a draining experience.

And I won't be going as far afield next year as I have been, because I had to play all of these events to try and play all of these events I wasn't in. Now I can reschedule myself to play in the Masters, the TPC, the majors, the European tournaments that are bigger ones. And so I'll be picking and choosing a little bit the way I used to do in the 90.s, and it's good to have a schedule like is that, as opposed to being right on the number 50, on the bubble, if you like; and not knowing whether I was going from Southeast Asia across to America or staying in Southeast Asia is very difficult. It's much better this year, but I don't be doing quite as much as I have this year. I have to try and get back into the system, if you like, as quick as possible.

Q. So how are you going to cope this week?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: We landed yesterday morning, and it's always more difficult in the world; as we know, flying east is much mover difficult than playing west. And coming from London, of course, a long way east, and it is more difficult to get over it as quickly. But when you have a purpose and you have a job to do, you get on with it, and I'll be fine tomorrow after a good night's rest tonight. I'll be fine tomorrow.

Q. Tiger said yesterday that he considered your eight Order of Merits one of the great feats of golf; your reaction to that? And also, your assessment on what he has achieved in the same period, really.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I started a bit earlier and won a lot less. That was nice of him to say that. I appreciate it coming from him to say that. I think it's only when I had not won the Order of Merit for the five years, how people tended to remark about it a little bit more, about how the seven in a row had been done, and the achievement that was, and it made me very proud after what wasn't continuing. So now coming back to do it means an awful lot to me.

His achievements, I can't say anymore than anyone else has said. I truly believe that we have the best sportsman playing the game of golf in the world right now. We're very, very lucky. We're all benefitting from it, everybody is, and you know, who could say that he would have won ten majors before he was 30. And who knows if he can't go onto have 19 majors in the bag, which will be an astonishing record to beat one record that we always thought would remain save.

But he has certainly rewritten every record book going, so we're all benefitting from the unique talent of a Tiger Woods.

Q. When do you think you can win a Major?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sorry, the first time yes, yes, very good. April! That will be the first and we'll try for the second week in June, yeah.

So, I can only wait another five or six months, but I would love to achieve that goal one day, and if it doesn't but I would love to achieve it on day. And the second week in April, the second Sunday in April, is on the agenda.

Q. Wonder if you have a message this week for Sam Torrance who is going for the Scottish Trifecta?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I texted him the other day and I do hope that Sam can hold on to the Seniors Order of Merit title. As you well know, we have Marc Warren, who won the Challenge Tour, and myself; so we are going for the first time that I think one country has ever won all three.

It would be great if Sam does. I think Sam deserves a Money List and Order of Merit title, if you like. What happened to him in 1995 was almost I wouldn't say unfair to him, but if there was ever one that deserved to be shared, that was the one.

Unfortunately it came down to one putt at the end of the day, which was bizarre after thousands and thousands of shots had been hit through the year. So he was very unlucky there, and I hope luck is on his side in Bahrain this week.

Q. You mentioned Marc Warren, his first event as a full member of The European Tour, what advice would you give to a fellow Scot starting out on his career this week?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think just be patient, because it's a very, very long journey, obviously. The decades of golfer to be played, so one not to get ahead of one's self, I think that's very important to, stay patient and not to get ahead of one's self so early in one's career.

You know, if it doesn't work this week, it doesn't work, big deal. He's No. 1 on the Challenge Tour, he's into every events next year, he doesn't get re ranked, so he's into every event and it's a long journey. So I wish him well as a fellow Scot and let's hope he does well.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much and good luck with to the start of the campaign, Colin.

End of FastScripts.

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