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October 31, 2007

Colin Montgomerie


Q. Is this your 53rd round in the Volvo Masters?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: 54th; and seven, used to be Volvo Order of Merits, so that's not bad. They have been very good to us all over the years and it's a shame that all of the players that qualified aren't here and it's a shame, but there you go.

Q. Do you appreciate their problems, though, in that they signed a contract before the dates were announced.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I don't appreciate the problems, no.

Q. You don't? Should have been the priority?

Q. Fair to say you're not impressed?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Fair to say. Fair to say. Deals could be done where they could have played two out of the next three years or something like that or whatever the case may be, but this should be a priority. This is our flagship tournament, the Volvo Masters, this is our tour championship, if you like, and we should have all of the top 60 players here. And it's a shame that 51 out of the top 60 are here.
I'm glad that, you know, the Harringtons and Roses of this world of here and Casey and are vying for the top spot with Stenson and Fasth. There's an awful lot to play for and I'm glad that that's still being done. We've got a great tour that -- we're fortunate in many ways because the strengths of our tour can cope with the loss of some of our other top players, because the top players are now -- there used to be six or seven and now there's 20, 25. We're very fortunate.

Q. You've always said that the Order of Merit is, if you like, the Premiership of golf, and this is the equivalent of Chelsea with the two-point lead going into the final round of matches, going off and playing a preseason friendly elsewhere or something.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's exactly that way and it does surprise me, because I mean, the Volvo Order of Merit meant a lot to me and it obviously doesn't mean as much to others. But there you go. That's my view. But I'm sure Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose and Stenson and Niclas Fasth of delighted. But there's something that's not quite right. But anyway.

Q. Do you think it might detract from the achievement?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, it doesn't attract from it at all. (Laughing) If Tiger doesn't enter an event, I'm delighted, it gives us all more of a chance, of course it does. I'm sure they feel that way with Federer and tennis, but these things happen.

Q. But Ernie has been especially critical that they are clashing and yet he's only ever played two Volvo Masters?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, he doesn't actually play very much, anyway, so I don't think he would have probably played here anyway. Possibly it just hasn't ever sort of fit in, I don't know why, but he's only ever played two. I've played 20 now.

Q. What are your memories of these 20 then?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, it started really for me when I lost in a playoff to Lyle back in '92, to be honest, when I really sort of became a sort of contender if you like and I lost in the playoff in '92 and came back in '93 and won and that was big for me, to win the Order of Merit. The results went my way and I won, and then stayed there, having to come back here and battle against the likes of everybody throughout the years, the Langers, Torrance, Faldo, Woosnam, Lyle. It was amazing having to keep ahead of them, and then the new crop came through with Westwood and Clarke and Harrington. It was more difficult, you know.
But all good things come to an end, and it does, and I'm so glad that I got one more back in 2005.

Q. The most exciting one must have been the one where you and Sam were neck and neck.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That was exciting. So was '93 when I had to come here and win and did so in beating David Gilford and Darren Clarke.
'95 springs to mind where I had to finish in the back nine at 1-under to beat him at game on and he put on a challenge, a very stiff challenge all year. And to finish the back nine 1-under, it was an amazing relief at the end almost. That was a joyous victory, it was more relief to keep going a record that I was becoming very proud of and having to maintain, and take another four after that was a real result.
Yeah, you only look back at it now and realise possibly how good it was. When you're in the middle of it, you have no real idea what's going on really.

Q. Would you like to see that there is powers that be can get around the table and try to ensure that this doesn't happen again?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, I'm sure George has ideas in his mind and it's up to him and I'm sure he'll be having words I'm sure, yes, yes, because Volvo have been a tremendous supporter over the 20 years, and when the word wheelbarrow is mentioned, that's not really right.

Q. On another matter, you've had time now to reflect on our Ryder Cup Captain.

Q. What was your reaction when you read that?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: There's no reaction at all to that. I think Sam Torrance and Bernard Gallacher, excuse me, spoke on my behalf and spoke very well and I didn't ask them to do so but they defended me and defended me very well. I don't know why I had to defend or be defended.

Q. You haven't heard from Nick?

Q. You wouldn't have expected a call?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I wouldn't have expected one. I think it's a bit like the rugby situation. If you've used air, I'm always available to view them, too, and strange to go to the press, very strange.

Q. Do you feel any kind of hangover from it at all?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, not at all, not at all. My team have spoken to me, and have been strange in their view about what makes sense. And as I said, if anyone has any views or anything to do with that, especially my commitment to a team event, it seems very strange anyway. To go in public, I don't think that's the right way to do anything.

Q. That's your message?

Q. When are you back as Seve Trophy captain?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Hopefully shortly.

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