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July 18, 2006

Colin Montgomerie


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, Colin Montgomerie. Colin, thank you for coming in. Someone said this course suited your game. Do you feel the same way?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I agree with him, entirely. Who was it, was it Tiger? Was it Phil? Who?

Q. Paul Casey.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Paul Casey, nice guy. Yes, I feel like it might suit me. It might suit the other 155 guys, you don't know. This is a very different field this year. This is the driest links course we've ever come to on a Monday, Tuesday. And this might suit some that doesn't suit others. So we'll see.

But I tend to keep the ball fairly straight and that's key around here, key around here. Length I don't think is an issue. Although it's 7200 some yards on the card, it must be playing about 5500 in real terms. So length isn't an issue. It's just the control of the ball that has to be found around here.

And I look forward to giving it a go with every other competitor.

Q. You bounced right back, get up on the horse, as they say, after The Open, the U.S. Open. There were some good scores. Were there any lingering effects for you at all?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, no effects at all. It didn't affect me at all, the U.S. Open (laughter). I was only glad that I was able to score 268 the first two days and lead that particular event by two shots. It helped slightly, but not enough.

But, no, that U.S. Open was a shame for myself and for Phil, I suppose, and for Jim Furyk and Padraig Harrington. There were a few of us that let it slip at the end there. But as you say, it was good for me to bounce back and get in the lead again and have a couple more decent tournaments after that, and I look forward to this week because of that.

Q. Rumor has it you had trouble getting on the premises today. Can you explain that?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. No, I didn't have any problems I don't think. No. No.

Q. With a steward or police woman?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, no problems today. I might have some later in the week, but not today. Bear with me, I'll be back with you on that. I'm sure there will be something controversial, something will happen, but not yet, no, no, but we are working on it.

Q. A couple of the guys earlier today talked about the need for creativity and shot making here. I was just curious, the idea of that kind of being a lost art these days, particularly on the PGA TOUR in America.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think it is. I think that is people say this course is dry and it's bouncy and everything, but that is part of golf. The ball does bounce into some places, and you've got to be able to control it and be patient. I think sometimes when you play in America that you hit the ball 157.6 yards and it scoots back 3.2 feet. This isn't like that. It's a more natural game and played on the ground.

And it will be interesting to see artistic shots more than you do possibly in the States. And I'm not saying that's right or wrong, it's just a different form of golf. And we have a different form here, especially with the weather as it is and it's forecast to be the way it is right now.

Q. Why do the Americans consistently do well and win this thing and in 1999 was the last time a European won? Can you explain that?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sure, good question. I think that we sometimes underestimate the American shot making potential that they obviously have, because they keep on winning this event and winning it well. And we've got to try to counteract that by our own play. To think about no European has won a major since 1999 is something that we're not very proud of here in Europe. We'd like to change that as soon as possible. Why, I don't know. I mean, it comes back to the fact, I don't know, Lee Westwood was the only English player in the top 100 four or five years ago, now there's got to be 20 Englishmen in the top 100; it just comes and goes.

It's something that's purely coincidental. If we win one, we might win four or five in a row, you never know how these things happen.

We just tend to be very good as a team. That's obviously been very well documented. It doesn't necessarily mean the World Rankings don't necessarily adhere to that Ryder Cup situation at all. Teamwork has to be more important than World Ranking positions or who's won certain majors.

Q. Last year you set up with a massive putting session in The Open week, and it paid huge dividends finishing second. I understand you probably did something similar last night?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I did. I was on the 13th green for a couple of hours last night and worked out a few things that were going wrong this last few weeks. And I'm not sure that what stops me from winning is my putting; I don't tend to hole as many as I used to. Why, I don't know. Age.

But at the same time I got a couple of pointers last night and I look forward to using that today. I'm going to have a practice round later on today and this evening, and I'll be working on the putting mostly. It all boils down to the guy that holes the putt at the end of the day. You can't compete at this level against the best players in the world putting average, I'm afraid. You've got to be able to hole out. And whenever I do hole out, I have a chance. And if I don't, I simply don't have an opportunity of winning. It's as simple as that.

Q. Can you give us an idea of how long the session was and the intensity of it and how it compares with your usual practice regime?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't know normally practice that length. I don't go out on a Monday evening of a normal European Tour event and practice for two hours, no. I'm usually at home, to be honest with you on Monday evening, I haven't even left the house. So that's different. And it is a major and it's different and I want to be able to get some confidence, really, that's all, to start on Thursday morning as I'm doing with some confidence to hole some early putts because even in the Scottish Open last week, to start with a 72 and be 80th position, okay, I moved up into the top 10 for a while, but it doesn't give you a chance. You've got to set off with a decent score on Thursday, and that was the key. That's why I was out there last night to try to get some confidence for Thursday.

Q. If it comes down to one pressure 8 iron approach shot

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'll be lost then, won't I, really (laughter).

Q. What will be how would you deal with it? Do you think you could pull it off?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Hopefully a little bit better than I did about a month ago. I don't really know what to expect if that situation happens to me again. Hopefully I'll have learned something from that situation. What I'll have learned I don't know until I've got in that situation again, because you can't learn it until you've got in that very same position again, really. So I will have learned from it, I have learned from it, I think, and hopefully if that happens again and I'm in that situation I will hit a better shot than I did then.

Q. Do you ever try to envision that shot on the practice ground? Can you replicate it in any way?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I don't want to replicate the bloody thing at all.

Q. I mean a good one.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I try and visualize good shots all the time. I'm a very visual person, so I see shots in the air and I try to emulate that within my swing. So I do visualize. I visualized it then. I visualized it going a little bit further, a little bit more left.

Q. With a month to go, the American Ryder Cup team is taking shape. It's a lot different than the one you're accustomed to in the last ten years. Is that unknown a little tantalizing or frightening?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Good question. The unknown is never welcomed in a situation. So I wouldn't say frightening, but certainly an unknown factor. There could well be five rookies on that team. I don't think Tom will be picking any more rookies, if you like. So there will be five possibly five rookies. And there's a bit of golf to be played. There's two more majors to be played and a world event. So there's some golf to be played yet. But at the same time, if there are five rookies on that team, it will be the unknown for us to expect what to expect. Who knows? Who knows?

The rookies, in the past on these Ryder Cups on both teams have performed actually quite well. And who knows what to expect. We'll just have to see how that situation evolves.

Q. In reference to one of the previous questions here, the number of Americans in the top 10, top 25, top 50 seem to be dwindling significantly in the last couple of years. You mentioned the Ryder Cups, and the players we don't know seem to be on the other side. Are we seeing a shift in the landscape, here? It's cyclical, you sense things changing quite a bit?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I think every time that we turn on our American coverage on the TV there's always half the top 10 are so called foreign, be it Australians or Europeans or South Africans or Koreans, Japanese, whatever. And it's amazing that it has gone over for this period, and who knows, it might go back again. But right now, the rest of the world, if you like, are performing very well.

Q. When you think of great young American players, do any come to mind? Tiger is 30 now.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, there's obviously some great young American players that we've never heard of yet, and we will. But not coming through or I haven't seen or heard of that yet, no, no. I don't mean to sound that way, I just haven't heard of that as yet.

Q. The 13th, why the 13th? Sorry to go back to it.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not at all. Why the 13th? It was sort of there's nothing pure coincidence that happened to be one of the closest greens where I was walking with Dennis last night and it was one of the quieter ones, that's all. And it was one that was up. I wanted one that was up and it was drier and a little quicker. There was nothing to 13.

Q. Dennis was with you all the time?


Q. You talk about wanting a flying start on Thursday to get yourself straight up into contention.


Q. Is this the sort of course in the condition it's in which you can attack or

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, no, definitely I didn't necessarily mean I have to be 5 under to be in contention. Contention might be level. So I don't think if you attack this course because I'm sure that the pin locations will be tighter, and I think you could run off greens and into positions where you can't get up and down.

And that's my practice round today is to find out not where to go. I know where to go, that's obvious, but it's where not to go, and that's the practice round today, to find out where not to go, where I hit the ball and get up and down from, if you like. That's where to go. Where I'm not going to go is where I can't get up and down from. So I'm going to have my patience hat on even in the practice round and find out exactly where to go.

Q. With the greens so fast you don't want to be short sided, do you?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Exactly. That's almost a red card. I get yellow cards all the time, but not a red one. You don't want a red one.

Q. How do you view your age at this point in your career? Does it give you more of a sense of urgency? I think I heard on the American broadcast that you felt like you had 20 more good majors in you.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's about right. That's about right. I'm 43, just turned 43. If I have 20 majors by the time I'm 48, I'll be about right, yeah. To compete. Good majors. The rest won't be. But up until 48 they should be quite good, yeah. So if I have 20 more majors, I'll hopefully be in contention four of them. You never know. One of them I might win.

Q. You showcased self deprecatory humor in talking about some of the misadventures you've had. How do you react at this point in your defeat?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Similar, to be honest. Flying home from New York on Sunday night, well, I had to think, well, that was okay. I came into this came into that event 21st or 22nd in the world and came within a whisker of winning. So I can't complain about that. That's okay, you know?

I try and take the positives from most things. If I took the negatives from everything I wouldn't be here, believe me, right now. I have to take the positives from anything that happens and there's always a positive in most days, however bad a day that might be. And I try and take as many positives from that as possible. And that was good. Okay, I didn't win, but I finished second and I'm 43 years old, that's okay.

Q. You seem more relaxed and confident. Is that on the back of finishing second in the last two Opens you've played in, and if so, is this the most relaxed you've been going into an Open?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I'm confident. I'm playing well, that's what it is. I'm confident where the ball is going. Knowing where the ball is going is half the battle, then I can do what I'm saying, putting the ball in a position where you can score from. So I look forward to this week, I really do.

STEWART McDOUGALL: Colin, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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