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January 17, 2007

Colin Montgomerie


GORDON SIMPSON: This is your 20th season on The European Tour, that's two decades.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: thanks for reminding me!

Q. Anxious to start the year?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, very much, I'm anxious and I'm 17 in the world right now and I want to get back in the Top-10. That's enough fire to keep me going, yeah, really anxious to get going and trying to win again.
I never won last year. I had a couple of seconds. I never won last year so I want to get winning again and the earlier the better I suppose, get it out of the way.
I look forward to playing here. I did okay last year. I was in the top six, top five, top six, always good, isn't that, top ten, top nine, top six. I look toward to doing better again this year.

Q. Thoughts on the growth of the tournament.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: What does that mean, do I just go home, do I? (Laughter) No, just came out wrong.
Yeah, bigger, better tournament. I think this tournament will grow and grow. It has just in it's second year. I think it's great. We've got Retief playing, Sergio is back again; defending champion, it's great that Chris has come back to defend; and we have Harrington, Casey. Great strength here, so it's a good tournament.

Q. Do you see this as a strong event?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, of course, yeah, the stronger the event, the more World Ranking points. That's why I'm playing this year to get back into the Top-10. I feel that I can be there and would love to be.

Q. Are you more driven this year?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, there's something -- no, there's nothing different at all. No, I always get out thinking, okay, I can win, you know, always, always have great ambition, great drive and it has not diminished in any way over the years, not at all and I feel that the flexibility is still there with me and I feel that I've got a number of years left.
Although, you know, I turn 44 in June and I feel that I can play longer than most guys can. And I really feel that improvement to have.
You know, I went to see Paul Marchand in the winter and he thinks there is, and I do, too. So I'm looking forward to proving it.

Q. How long did you spend working with him and where is he based?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Just a couple of days. Based in Houston, yes, I work alongside with him and Denis Pugh, it works well.

Q. Was that for the putting?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, unfortunately it was everything. Indeed it was, spent hours, everything.

Q. How much does Colin Montgomerie Design impact on your life?.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It takes up a lot of the spare time that I used to have, right. And I enjoy it. So I don't mind it taking up that spare time. I'm busier now that be I've ever been but at the same time I'm enjoying it more than I've ever done before so it doesn't affect the golf and that's the main thing.

Q. Locations of design work in the desert?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, of course there's a few design projects there. The Riffa Club in Bahrain of course I'm going to have to see. My first visit is next weekend actually so I look forward to doing that before Dubai. That's very exciting project there, and others around, but I do enjoy it. I do enjoy it thoroughly and I look forward to visiting new places, new sites and new potential good golf courses and that's a potential European Tour venue for the future, the one in Bahrain.
So I look forward to having a look at that and getting a very good layout organised there.

Q. Do you see age as a problem entering your 20th year or does it fire you up?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: You can either look at it both ways, you can come into it looking at it as your 20th year, I can't do this anymore, the standard is improving around me.
When I was No. 1, I had to improve every year to stay there. I think everybody has to, the competition in any business is increasing. And whatever you do. And so I've got to improve along with it and I'm looking forward to trying to improve to stay or to improve my position from where I am, and I look forward to it now.
It's more of a challenge to me than it is a problem. Some players at my age would see it as a problem and go, okay, they find they hit the ball further, they are stronger, they are fitter and they sometimes feel they want it more but there's no one with more ambition than me, nobody.

Q. So you are a father figure in the Ryder Cup, but out to get the younger ones in individual events?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, on the Ryder Cup, I'm one of 12, which is great, because they are all good, we could put a couple of teams out there, we know that. On my own here, I just feel that, you know, I have a lot to give yet and I want to try and prove it to myself more than anything.
GORDON SIMPSON: Age is only a state of mind anyway, isn't it. You see somebody from Fiji still winning on the PGA TOUR.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, he's older than me, and he's won again this year already. And golf is one of these games. Age doesn't really come into it in many ways, as long as you're flexible, as long as the fitness is to a certain level, we can do this.

Q. Since your first full season 20 years ago, how much distance have you gained due to technology?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, good, I hit the ball about 25 yards probably further than I used to hit it, which isn't the dramatic increase of 40, 50 yards that some of the guys that got because of the way I hit the ball. But 25 yards off the tee is just below average. Most of the guys will tell you 30, 35 yards maybe, and just the way they hit the ball, the golf balls are designed to come from the air and I hit the ball lower. It's unfortunate but I'll still get it around.

Q. Have you ever been tempted to have your wife on the bag?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I haven't had my wife on the bag -- no, don't start me there. (Laughter).

Q. Would that be something you would do (referring to Chris DiMarco's wife caddying).
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I just said, look, just don't go there. (Laughing).
Well, you either, I think you would work or not. I don't think there's any -- there's no grey area. It would be black or white. You would either do very well as Chris did last year or you really would miss a professional with you.
I've never actually done that, I don't believe, taken a friend, if you like, to caddie.
So I can't answer that. But it would be no grey area, it would work or it wouldn't work. You many miss the cut or you would win. Last year he won and I believe he's doing it again, he's got his wife again, that's super.
It seems to work but I can't speak to that, I've never had a friend or otherwise caddie in a tournament.

Q. (So are you saying you would never have a friend caddie for you in a tournament)?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't say that, no. Just that I haven't actually found the urge to do that, you know. I would say Lydia was more than a friend.
GORDON SIMPSON: Are you offering your services, Lewine?

Q. (Anything about the course that strikes you)?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, not particularly, this is a very good, strong golf course, 18 holes. I think this is a fair test of golf, long enough, narrow enough, greens well designed. I think it's a very good tournament golf course, yeah. And we had a good top six last year, finishing, and that was a good, you know, with the fact that Chris won, Stenson was up there, there was Garcia there as well. We had a good Top-10, if you like, which proves it was a good golf course.

Q. Is this course not more reminiscent of an American style one?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I suppose there's more desert areas I suppose than you would find. But that's what certain designers are going for now. They are going for the look of American-style courses. You know, Dubai in some ways doesn't look as if where it is. Same thing. But there's certain aspects of it that are very desert and some aspects that aren't. But I think overall, as I said, I think it's very fair, good, strong golf course.
GORDON SIMPSON: Colin, go out and enjoy the weather. Thank you.

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