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May 10, 2006

Colin Montgomerie


COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is always nice to return to somewhere you have nice memories from. It is a nice spot here. It has fantastic memories for me here with the Ryder Cup. I really enjoyed what I was doing here and what was going on and points and everything. I like it here.

Q. And the British Masters which you have had plenty of success in the past?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: A lot of success in the British Masters when it was at the Forest of Arden down the road. I had had a lot of success in this tournament and I am looking forward to challenging again. I am playing very well. I had a great nine holes on Tuesday evening and I am playing well.

Q. It has been a bit of a slow start this year?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That is being very polite. I haven't performed that well. There is no reason why not. I am not going through swing changes, that's not going to happen. It just hasn't clicked in. Plenty of time. I am not worried in May. But the BMW Championship is our halfway house, amazing. I didn't realise that until it was.

Q. Yet many people look at this as the start of the European season?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: In many ways, it is back to Europe, back to Britain and there are many British competitors, more than any other nationality on our Tour. This is home and then Ireland and then Wentworth and Wales so there is a month when we are all driving around. It's nice to do that.

Q. So how are you trying to turn this form around?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I have just changed to the belly putter again. That is good for me. It worked in China. The greens were quite poor in Spain so it didn't work there. But they are better here and I am looking forward to giving it a go here. There is no reason why I can't win. Everything is fine. I am happy off the course and on it. Everything is fine.

Q. But you will have to pull your socks up if you are going to challenge for a ninth Order of Merit?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well they said that last year. Said it a few times when I have been a few times. But I am not losing sleep over Order of Merits any more. That was big to do that last year. Huge to do what I did. I didn't think that was possible. People thought it was possible but I didn't. It's nice to know it was still in the bank somehow.

Q. What are your goals for this year?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Top ten in the world. I'm 22nd now and I want to be in the top ten. That's my goal and that keeps me going.

Q. These are big weeks to achieve that goal?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I have got to try and win one of these four at least to give myself a chance of getting back into the top ten again.

Q. The 2002 Ryder Cup was very special for you here - does that bring a smile back to your face when you walk around here?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Every tee you feel the atmosphere of the crowd, especially the first tee. But every tee you have memories of where you were or what you were doing. I had good partners that year, Langer for three and Harrington for one. Great partners and if it wasn't for a clumsy chip of mine on the 18th I would have got five out of five. But four and a half was okay. And I really did enjoy it. Usually if you enjoy what you do you are quite good at it and I was enjoying the experience of that Ryder Cup. That was the best Ryder Cup I have ever been involved with. Two years ago was special in many ways because we won by so much but winning at home, there is nothing like winning at home. And we have the same pressures to do the same again this year. There is no reason why we can't.

Q. Do you like the way the team is shaping up?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, its okay. I understand Ian Woosnam's concern over the players he wants to play in Europe and I am glad to see Lee Westwood play here and Harrington, and the guys that have played a lot in America, Ian Poulter, and you want them in the side. They will be playing in Europe from now on and they should make it. Should make it. They are all world class players and they should be able to come through.

It was always going to have a top that was from last year if you like. Then somehow there are always a few players you want in that aren't in and Ian knows those players, we all do. And he wants them to get in, we all do. He doesn't want to waste picks. But I think Padraig Harrington is good enough, Lee Westwood is good enough, Ian Poulter is good enough, Darren Clarke is good enough and let's hope things can improve at home so he can concentrate on what he is doing as he is a world player and being Irish the support he will get out there will be tremendous.

Q. Too early to have concerns?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: There is no concern at all. We have a fabulous set up and a fabulous team. No concerns at all. None.

Q. Would concerns creep in after this run of four events if none of them have made any in-roads?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. There is so much to play for. After the Open have a look. After you have played your Smurfit European Open and Barclays Scottish Open and the Open, then have a look. But not until then.

End of FastScripts.

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