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November 22, 2007

Colin Montgomerie

Marc Warren


GORDON SIMPSON: We have the Scotland team, same team as last year, Marc Warren and Colin Montgomerie and clearly the chemistry is working again, Colin.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, we enjoyed playing last year together and it was unfortunate that we came out short in the playoff against the Germans. Like the English football, really -- (groans from the audience.)
And we did okay today. We did very well. We got off to a good start which is important in four-ball. We got off to a good start and birdied the first two holes, and we settled down a little bit and we got another 7 from there. I thought that 6- or 7-under would be good today, and we got an extra two. We've got 9, and it's put us in a good position for tomorrow.
Tomorrow's round is -- tomorrow and on Sunday are the most difficult rounds, being foursomes, and you'll find the scores and teams with the higher ranking come through tomorrow.
So we just have to hope that we are one of them and play sensibly tomorrow. Tomorrow is a very important day.
GORDON SIMPSON: Marc, did you feel it was a case this year of trying to go one better and make up for the disappointment of losing in the playoff last year?
MARC WARREN: Well, yeah, I think it's an extra motivation because of last year coming so close and not winning was disappointing, but I think it's a whole new year. Every team, there's a lot of different teams playing well this year, and because of what we've done last year, we've got the belief from that that we can do well again this year.

Q. Is there anything particularly Chinese about this course?
MARC WARREN: Spanish designer. (Laughter).
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, that's a very interesting question. The crowd are mostly Chinese.
There's nothing Chinese really about golf. Never mind the golf course. That's a very strange question (laughter).
MARC WARREN: Give us an example of Chinese on a golf course.

Q. Did you have the feeling out on it that you could have been anywhere in the world or apart from the spectators, whether you felt --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Just what do you mean -- no, John, no (laughter).

Q. Monty, is there an element of playing the patriarch on this team, and is this a role you relish?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I do. As you well know, I enjoy team formats and I think that as Marc has so readily said, we got so close last year, and it's good that we've come back together and playing.
Obviously I'm the sort of so-called senior partner, but that doesn't mean -- you know, we dovetailed actually very well today. You saw the scorecard, I think there was about nine holes that I came in on and about nine that Marc came in on.
So I don't feel there's anything that way at all. Marc played very well and holed some good putts when I had missed, especially at 15 and 16 there, was vital to keep the score rolling along at the end there to come in well. And no, I don't feel that. I feel we're an even pairing. But no, I think we just enjoy -- I think we enjoy playing with each other. You can see that.

Q. You were talking about the foursomes being tougher.

Q. Will there be more sort of tension in the air -- you were very relaxed today, but will there be more tension in the air before you set off tomorrow?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not before we set off, but certainly every shot counts tomorrow. For one of us could have had an X, if you like, and picked up the ball and didn't really matter. Tomorrow matters totally in every shot. Foursomes golf, I've always found is the toughest to play in and with, and it needs two of you to perform at that level to sustain one's position as we're in right now.
So it is game-on tomorrow. Tomorrow and Sunday are where you win or lose the World Cup -- sorry, tomorrow or Sunday is the days that you win or lose it. So tomorrow's most important.

Q. Could Marc answer that as well?
MARC WARREN: What was it? Tension tomorrow?

Q. Will you be feeling different from today.
MARC WARREN: Well, as Colin said, every shot counts a lot, probably double tomorrow really.
But really, you couldn't pick a better partner. His long game is immaculate and he seems to hole putts under pressure. I think for the format tomorrow and Sunday, he's absolutely ideal so for me it makes me feel a bit more comfortable that way and helps me relax a little bit because obviously I feel a lot of pressure as well. But that's something I enjoy, so hopefully we'll play as well as we today, if not better and score a pretty good score, as well.

Q. Just wondering if there's much pressure out there and whether you're feeling under pressure, because everyone who has come in here has been relaxed and enjoying themselves; is that fair?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think it is today. I think four-ball is a very relaxing format, especially when it's the amount of birdies you get, as opposed to really dropped shots tomorrow. There will be dropped shots all over the place. There will be less -- there will be less people coming -- well, hopefully less, but a lot less people coming in.
But the people coming in here will be of different mind-set than they are today.

Q. You've really stressed your desire to win this World Cup for the first time for Scotland.

Q. I don't mean to be negative, but in terms of frustrations in your career, where would you rank last year's disappointment?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, yeah, it was disappointing obviously. But it was the first time that I had played with Marc, and we did very well. We did very, very well. There was some strong teams last year, and we did extremely well to come through on the last day and to get into that playoff. Unfortunately we did make a bogey on that first hole.
But at the same time it means ever more to come back here and try and win it again. It's like my first Volvo Masters, I suppose, in '92. I lost in a playoff to Sandy Lyle and come back the next year and win. Let's hope we can do the same thing this year, very important. As well, you know, being it's first time in many years here in China and first of OMEGA's sponsorship and the first time here at Mission Hills in 12 years. So it's an inaugural event, if you like, in many ways, and it's great that we've had a good start.

Q. Colin, on a lighter note, you said you've had a very long day. It didn't start at four o'clock this morning, did it?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, it didn't. No, no. I wasn't watching the football, obviously you've noted.
I heard the score this morning and disappointing, very disappointing, being British and not having a British -- not having a British competitor in the Euro 2008. That doesn't seem right. It just proves that the strength of our Premiership is international and not British. And hopefully something can be done about it.

Q. Seriously?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, yeah. That was seriously, actually. (Laughter).
I mean, there's too many -- we used to have a rule, didn't we, in the European Cup that we used to have three international players or whatever it was. I think we have to go back to something like that to get British players playing in Britain, and it would help our international teams, period, including Scotland. We've had a fantastic campaign against a very strong group. (Pausing for Chinese translation)
I can see it now, can't you: "Monty slams Premiership." (laughter).
Or "Foreigners should" -- yeah, yeah, I can picture it out. Might as well start with the Premiership. I have nothing to do with the Premiership League at all. I just have a view, but we all have a view.

Q. Just going back to China, there are some people in China who do believe that golf was invented here. As representatives of the country which would traditionally think was the home of golf, could I ask to your reactions to that, please?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very good. Well, I think we actually played with a country today that believe they invented the game, which is Holland, way, way back.
But we have a bit of a right to the whole thing, don't we, I think Scotland, the home of golf. I wouldn't say China had that wording. (Laughing.)
But I'll say the same thing, they are obviously a very old country and have sticks and balls for many years (laughter).
But we feel we are -- we feel we are the home of golf, and it shall remain. But we're delighted to play in China on a Chinese course.
GORDON SIMPSON: Well I think that's been one of the most surreal experiences today. Thank you for coming in.

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