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February 20, 2008

Colin Montgomerie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks for joining us, bedecked in the St. Andrews Cross. It's a great morning for you. You must be very, very pleased.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I am. Yes, very, very happy. I believe Jim Furyk just after Tiger, really, is one of the U.S.'s strongest match players, and the toughest guys to beat. His Ryder Cup record suggests that. And it was a very tough opponent to draw Jim Furyk, I must admit, the first day. But I played particularly well today. I hit the fairways and got inside of them a number of times. And when I did that I took advantage a number of times. I've hit decent iron shots and not taken advantage of the putts, and I did today. I played well enough to win.
SCOTT CROCKETT: It was -- your game was very solid; the figures would suggest that.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I made a mistake at the second. I dropped a shot at the second. I hit a good shot, but it just spun into the bunker. The pins are very close to the edges. You have to be very careful. My only mistake.
I enjoyed the challenge of seeing where I am, seeing where my game is, because you can put it up again a player that's ranked an awful lot higher than I am right now, and it's good that I can come out on top and look forward now to another match tomorrow and we'll see how that goes. As I said yesterday, these are 64 players in the world that can all play the game very, very well. It's almost a toss of the coin on every match. It's almost a 50/50, toss of the coin, really, what's going to happen, because anybody, as we so rightly know, can beat anybody on any day.

Q. Have you been thinking about your World Ranking and moving into the top 50 to get into Augusta, or do you just let it happen?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I don't care, really (laughter), where I am. Yeah, I go to bed thinking about that and I wake up thinking about it. Yeah, I'm in a lowly 60th place right now and I'm not very happy about that, and I've got to get my finger out and get going. It's good that the world events carry a number of points, obviously more so than a normal Tour event, because everybody is here. It's nice that I've got through at least one round and I look forward to tomorrow.
But, yes, I've got four tournaments through Doral to get back in the top 50 to try to get in The Masters. Yes, I don't want to miss out. The other six majors and world events, if you like, but the seventh one I'm not in, which is The Masters, which is sort of the big one. I'd love to be in there. So it's a matter of trying to get back in the top 50.

Q. What is your schedule? Where are you intending to play, the Florida Swing and what's the --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, the Florida Swing, I'm afraid -- well, that's another thing, because the TPC used to be penciled in or "Sharpied" in, if you like, and it's not anymore, because I'm not in the top 50. So I can't really plan it, so it's difficult to plan schedules as such.
But I'm going to India next week as part of the European Tour, and then across to Korea and then I've got to fly from Korea to Doral; that's a good one (laughter). If I get there in time, I'll play Thursday morning. So I've got four large events coming up and then we'll see how we're placed going into The Masters from there.

Q. You talked about the challenge and the fun of comparing your game to somebody who's much higher than you on the ranking at the moment. What did you learn today about your game and where it is?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I learned that I'm possibly -- what did I learn? Difficult to say what you learned until I go home and have a think about it. But I've learned that I can still compete and I can still play this game and that I've just beaten, as I believe, and many of you do the same, that I've beaten one of the U.S.'s top, top match players and toughest opponents, and it's done wonders for me and done wonders for my confidence.

Q. You said driving, you said you were going to be -- you reckoned you were on par with him. Were you about the same off the tee?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Similar length off the tee, yes. I think he outdrove me as much as I out drove him. It was a very even game. I wasn't going to be outplayed today. I might have been outscored or beaten today, but it was a good opponent in that way that we play a very similar game, that we both have control of the ball. We both hit the ball a similar distance.
And you can play someone like a Holmes or someone that hits the ball a lot longer, so you can't really compare the same. Today I had a chance to compare my own game with Jim's because we play a very similar style and I'm glad I came out on top today.

Q. Was there a pivotal hole?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: A pivotal hole? Yeah, he just birdied the 11th hole to get back to 1-down, a good birdie from the left-hand rough.
And then when we drove up the 12th, he was definitely favored. He had a chip straight up the green, and I was expecting him to make 3 to get back to all square. I had a difficult chip from the left-hand side for my second shot. I got up-and-down and he didn't. It's amazing how that was pivotal, the 12th hole, to get back to 2-up.
And then I holed a 50-footer at the 13th. So instead of thinking it was all square, 15 minutes later I'm 3-up. Pivotal? Yeah, yeah, hugely, yeah. But every game can say that. You win 3 and 2 like that and you think, oh, that's a safe win, but, man, they're all very, very much closer than what you might think, yeah.

Q. Do you recall off the top of your head, have you ever played Jim in singles at the Ryder Cup?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I haven't. Believe me, I know exactly who I've played in the Ryder Cup.

Q. You've played in so many --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, that's okay. He's not one of the eight people I've managed to play in the Ryder Cup. No, I haven't played Jim in the Ryder Cup. But his record was -- I think it was 100 percent until Paul Casey beat Jim Furyk at the K Club. Jim Furyk has had great wins against Faldo and Garcia and other top opponents. Jim had never lost a Ryder Cup match. So I knew how tough this was going to be.

Q. A related follow-up, Sergio is carrying two putters today. You've had putting troubles here along the way. I wondered if you ever considered doing that.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I just hope he's taken out one of his other clubs. Well, I mean, hey, it's half the shots. We're allowed 36 shots, we're allowed 36 putts; that's why it adds up to 72. Why have 13 for the 36 of them and only one for the other 36? Carry more than two.

Q. You were mentioning the quick change, there, where you thought you might be even or ahead.

Q. You have played so much match play, and Tiger was mentioning this, how quick a match can change.

Q. Does experience really come into the fore here where you've done it so often?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think so. I think so. I think that experience has to play a part, I think. And I'm not saying that Jim's not experienced, but I'm one of the older -- elder statesmen in this tournament and I think I've -- since 1991, I've been playing in Ryder Cups now for 17, 18 years. And there's no one playing in this tournament that's played any more.
As experience goes, yes. And I think that was vital to count on that on that stage. And even if I had gone level, you know, level against Jim Furyk with six holes to go, I'd have almost taken that, you know, this morning. So I wasn't losing heart if I had. I'd almost given -- not given him that hole, but if I got away with a halve I'd have done well, which meant I would have won that hole, which was a great bonus for me.

Q. Last night on The Golf Channel there was a story on gamesmanship. Being in match play it's different than medal play. How much does that come into play in your match, but out there in general, from keeping the opponent from getting inside your head and getting inside their head?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think that's part of the match play game. It was my objective to get up early and stay up, if you like. But it's never easy against an opponent of Jim Furyk's caliber. So yes, you have plans. They're all thrown out the window if your opponent starts with six straight birdies; not much you can do about that. You shake his hand and go, "well played."
So, yes, there's things you do, like the 12th hole, like you try and make sure that you birdie the hole and then you make sure that you hold onto that position of being 2-up. And then the putt down at 13 was really crucial, to go 1-up to 3-up.
But I wouldn't say there's sportsmanship in it or gamesmanship in it, it's just a matter of trying to do the best you can and score the way you can. If you're first on the tee, it's vital to hit the fairway. Now, you call that gamesmanship or whatever, sportsmanship, but it puts the pressure on him.
I'm not interested in any other game out there at all, I'm only interested in the game I'm playing. It's much easier, if you like; you've only got one guy to beat, as opposed to normally you have 155 other guys to beat. So it's much easier. Thank God half the other people have been knocked out today as well, and I've had nothing to do with it (laughter).

Q. For those of us over here that don't work for the tabs, did I not read or hear something about you getting back on the marriage course again here fairly soon?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I wouldn't say it was tabloid news; that was just news (laughter). Yes, April the 19th I'm getting married. And I'm looking forward to it very much.

Q. Congratulations.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Thank you very much, indeed.

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