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July 5, 2006

Padraig Harrington


Q. Good week off?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I relaxed and saw the children. Great. I look forward to three big weeks and I look forward to them all. I did need the break. Having done well at the U.S. Open, then did well at Gleneagles, I thought that was the one to miss. I was going to play France but felt I couldn't. I did a company day at The Wisley on Monday. That's the business. I had to do that. You have a commitment to honour.

Q. This week?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Let's try and knock this one off. Different course but I've never won and I want to.

Last year people say the Open got me going but it wasn't. It was this tournament. I backed into second place. In fact, most people backed into where they finished but it gave me a bit of a kick. I thought: 'I can still do this' and holed a four footer to make the cut on Friday and shot 69-70 at the weekend in harder conditions and finished within two shots of the lead. This course (the Smurfit) is a second shot golf course. All about the second shot and it's all about hitting the right second shots.

I've got new irons from Yonex. They have been in the bag for a day. I got them sorted out yesterday and I look forward to hitting some good iron shots. They look similar but feel a bit different. You've got to start sometime and no time like the present. The others were good - these will be better. I wasn't perfect and they might help. They came over from Japan and we tested them at The Wisley and within a month it's been done. Brilliant. I asked for more weight in the bottom of the clubs on the long irons. I need to get the ball airborne, coming in from a higher flight, and they've done that.

Q. Retief expressed confidence that you would still win a Major and he said he was surprised you didn't win from where you were?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, so am I. I had done all the hard things. The pin was on the right side of the green and the whole thing was set up perfect, I ha the yardage, the right club and I mis-hit it. Simple as that. Stricker was interviewed last week and he said: 'forget Mickelson - the big shock was Monty. He's one of the best iron players in the world, he's on the fairway and he doubled it'. That was my shot. You might expect Mickelson to miss the fairway. I positioned the ball where I wanted it.

Q. Age isn't an issue, is it?

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, we don't have to worry about age. Not at all. We are fitter. I feel fitter and fresher. There are no worries about age. I can keep doing this. I've hit so few balls in my life that, although I am 43, in golfing terms I feel 33, because I haven't worn out my body bashing balls. Actually, I can prolong my career longer than others because I haven't bashed myself up.

I am off in just over an hour and I might hit 30 shots, something around 70 on the course and that's 100 shots. Some poor so-and-so was sent out by Sky, I think it was, to count how many shots Vijay Singh hit on the Thursday of the U.S. Open, including his 70 or 71 that he shot on the course. If I tell you that I would have hit around 150 - a couple of chips, putts, 69 and some shots and putts afterwards - how many do you think he hit? I'll tell you - just short of 1,000 in the day. That included 400 putts after he finished. He's older than me by four months. But he is unique. He is one end of the scale and I am the other. That's the different - 700- or 800-ball difference in a day. You multiply that by six days' play in a week. He does very well.

End of FastScripts.

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