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July 9, 2008

Colin Montgomerie


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks, as always, for coming in to join us this morning and welcome once again to the Barclays Scottish Open. I know you enjoy playing all around the world but nothing like playing at home, you must be looking forward to the week.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I am indeed. I look forward to these two weeks of the year, the Scottish Open, an The Open is a great fortnight for us all, I think for you and for the players. And especially for me coming back to Loch Lomond is always an exciting time and I look forward to these weeks, I always do through the calendar.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Have you had a chance to play or is the Pro-Am the first go?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: The Pro-Am is the first time, but I know my way around here, so we're okay. I can get around with one practise round, that's fine.

Q. You had ten rounds under par until Saturday, how close do you think you are to a real run of consistent form?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, that's fairly consistent because the courses were reasonable and you still have to go out and do it. I think that I'm very close to playing to the way that I, well, used to play I suppose. Lack of mistakes and sort of a few birdies around and walking off and not having felt that I had to try that hard and that's been the problem recently. I've been unfortunately, everything has been a bit of an effort, thinking about the whole thing too much and now it's becoming easier again and clearer.
I'm just out there trying to make a score, as opposed to thinking how to make a score. There's a very big difference between the two. That's the way I used to play and perform and now I'm getting back into that.
Now with my French Open result, it was big in sort of a financial sense, it's the third biggest purse that we have behind The Open and the PGA Championship. So in a financial sense, that was good in a Ryder Cup sense, and it gives me added incentive to do well from now on; to prove to myself that I can still compete at this level.
So it's an exciting time. I really look forward to the next, what, month and a half before the selection process finishes.

Q. We've had Ernie in here and he was talking about Ben and we were asking how much that affects how he thinks and etc.; you're a family man, and we think of golf as single-minded. But your children, they do worry you when you play, you can't sort of put them out of your mind, can you; how difficult is it?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is. It used to be hard enough with three kids and now I've sort of inherited another four -- (laughter) It gets even tougher with seven, my God.
But at the same time, yeah, I mean, there's always one of them that's either in trouble or having problems or whatever the case may be, or needs attention or needs some extra time. And it is more difficult to concentrate when you get older and there's things happening with GCSE's and A Levels and Universities and all sorts of stuff that goes on.
It is more difficult to concentrate than it was when you were single, if you like, or newly married or no children. It is a lot easier to concentrate on one particular thing, as opposed to a number of things in life, not just with family but with other business interests. It's very, very busy, busy time, and to find time, I haven't hit a shot this morning. I've just got here and it's been, you know, crazy and now I'm straight from here at half 12, hopefully, if I make it on the ninth tee which is good just behind the marquis here so we'll start fresh. But it's very, very busy.
Usually if you want something done, you ask a busy man; a lot of truth in that, and I tend to just about make it through, yeah.

Q. Would you prefer that the Scottish Open always played here at Loch Lomond rather than as some people have suggested to go to a links course --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think we are very, very fortunate here. I truly believe this is the best inland course in Britain; not just Scotland, in Britain. I think if it's not ranked that way, it almost is anyway, ranked that way. So we are very fortunate. Every time you drive in here, especially through the main gates, I personally feel very proud to be Scottish when you drive in here. It's a very, very special place.
And I agree with Ernie, that it would lose something. It would lose a lot if it was taken down to a links course. I'm not saying that Dundonald is not of this quality, but at the same time, I feel that when this championship moved to Carnoustie, I don't know, it lost something, even from its Gleneagles days.
And we've been very fortunate since '96 here to have played here. I believe this is, what, this must be the 13th time I believe we've been here, and very, very fortunate to play here. And I agree with Ernie, that if possible, if the powers that be make it possible, it would be great if it was here for my time, anyway, yeah.

Q. You say you're looking forward to this fortnight and last year I'm sure you were, too, but --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I came in from European Open success and it was all going swimmingly well and then went missed the cut, missed the cut. That's the so-called beauty of this game.
I don't know what happened there. I got off to a flying start, as well, here. I was 3-under after five the first round and was going well and then it all just didn't happen. I don't know why should that be, but we'll give another go. That's all you can do, you know. I don't know what happened last year at all. I'd rather not dwell on it to be honest with you and think about the future.
But at the same time very disappointed. I think the first time I had ever missed the cut here and very disappointing to do that and hopefully make amends this year.

Q. Could you expand a little bit on why you love this course so much? Do you have a favourite hole, for instance?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I don't think there's a bad one, and that means that it's one good golf course. We have an Open champion who designed this golf course in Tom Weiskopf, and you can see his vision through this. It was his favourite course, and still is, I believe, of all of the courses that Tom Weiskopf has designed. The setting is breathtaking, really. I just feel that coming back to a place that you've won on, I won here in '99, and you get a certain feeling when you do come back to a place that you've won on.
I was married here three months ago, and just behind us, and it's just a very special place for me, a very special place. I'm very proud to be a member here and come here as much as possible and enjoy all of the facilities that Loch Lomond golf club offers.

Q. Can you talk us through, I think you played before your wedding --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, some of the guests played a round. I played one hole, which was the eighth. Yeah, I managed to have, I think it was 14 pars and four birdies, so if I ever bogey that hole, I'm in big trouble; I know exactly what to do on it. I was getting dizzy before I got married but that was from 8:30 I believe we started that round and finished at about 1:30 just in time to get married, so it worked out quite well.

Q. A few weeks ago, you dropped out of the Top-100 and now you're back in it, and didn't take you long; but was that a G up to get your game going back again?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, when you see that, that was very, very disappointing for someone who feels that they shouldn't be there, you know, in any form. When you are second in the world as I was in '96 and '97, and to drop down to outside the Top-100, you go, what the hell is going on here.
So I think it was a little bit of a G up, and I had some reasonable form in Munich, and did well in France and it's going better.
So, yeah, I plan on getting back in the Top-50 by the end of the year, and then hopefully progress from there. There's no reason why not. I'm exempt on this tour until I'm 52 years old, 2015, and I plan on playing on that time on this tour and plan on trying to improve, and that's all I can possibly do to improve to then. And then I think that will do me, and I'll stop.
So I plan on improving, and there's no reason why not. I'm sort of -- I was going to say I'm fit enough, but I never have been, and mentally, I never have been that way, either, so I don't really know where we are. (Laughter) But I plan on improving some way to get back firstly in the Top-50. That's the first goal, and then we'll take it from there.

Q. Bob Torrance was fairly scathing about most of the young Scotts that are coming through -- what's your thoughts on that? Did you think there's maybe not the desire because the prize money is too good for finishing 20th every week?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I heard the comments, because it was mentioned to me. I don't read the particular paper and I heard the comments and sometimes when a coach and a player split, if you like, sometimes it's not that amicable. But at the same time, I have a lot of respect for Marc Warren, who was my World Cup-winning partner, and I have to say the strength of our team that week, Marc was brilliant in China. I can't comment on his practise regime and don't wish to.
But for the younger guys, I would encourage them to practise hard. There's nothing that -- they are practising harder, they are, there's no question. As a group, they have got nutritionists now and they have got mind people and they have got fitness gurus and all of the sort of stuff that goes on, and they are practising harder and the standard is getting better. 20-under last week was a fantastic performance by a so-called almost a rookie, if you like.
And it was funny to think Ross Fisher, the first practise round he had on Tour, it was good of him. He asked me to have a practise round with him in the Scandinavian Masters a couple of years back, and that was good. I thought, that's good, that's the sort of thing I would have done, you know, to play with someone who he could probably, hate to say, but probably learn a couple of things from. And he was good that way, and we had a good practise round, and I'm glad to see him in the winner's circle.
And as I've always said, I'm here to help anybody; giving an opportunity to people is one thing, and to takes it another. I hope Marc Warren gets back to form because he's better than the form he's showing. He's a real talent, Marc Warren, and let's hope these comments don't hurt him in any way and he proves to be the player that he was over at that Mission Hills World Cup, because he was the strength of our team there.

Q. When Phil Mickelson was in, he commented on the obsession that we appear to have on this side of the Atlantic with The Ryder Cup. Are we obsessed with The Ryder Cup --

Q. -- and does that have something to do with the success we've enjoyed?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, completely obsessed. They were when they won. (Laughter).
We have an obsession with it, I suppose, and it has been great, to think that as underdogs as we used to be to win five out of the last six Ryder Cups, as four of which have been underdogs, if you like, has been terrific, and that's why we tend to go with it; to beat America at any sport really, apart from soccer, is a real result. Especially a game that they feel somehow -- I don't know how, but it seems that they have the World Rankings to prove that their tour seems stronger, but it's great that we in Europe can disprove that theory so often; so therefore, now it's not a coincidence. It's not luck. Now it's because we are as good if not better as a tour, and it's great to see.
And yes, you know, I think we mentioned The Ryder Cup and when I'm sure when he was in the word Ryder Cup was mentioned to him, and the situation with Woods, I'm sure it was mentioned; and great, and it gives them something to go for.

Q. Ernie Els said he thinks there's more talk about it this year in America.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, nobody likes to lose at home, right, and I think that the result in Detroit in 2004 was a bit of a sit up and, hang on a minute, what's happening here. You could almost, almost, understand the result in 2006, because our team, I truly believe the team assembled in 2006 was the best European Team ever, and we were all coming in there playing well.
Now they have had a big rethink. They have changed their system. They have got four picks and they have got all sorts of stuff going on and they don't want that to happen again, especially on their own soil and with the PGA being located at their own Valhalla, and they are doing everything they can to avoid that. And I can't blame them for that. I would be in the same boat if I was them.
Yeah, this will be a much closer event than the last two, I can assure you that.

Q. Does your appearance or not in Ryder Cup suggest when you might become Ryder Cup Captain?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, even if I don't perform in the Ryder Cup this year, which I do think I will -- so what was your question? (Laughter).
Yes, I think that there's a particular place that I think I might well be captain for, and I think it's pretty obvious that -- you would have to say it, but even if I'm not playing this year, I will do my utmost to play in 2010 and possibly 2014 and do something else in 2014. (Laughter).
SCOTT CROCKETT: Colin, thanks, as always. Good luck this week.

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