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November 19, 2008

Colin Montgomerie


RODDY WILLIAMS: Colin, thanks very much for coming in and joining us. A very special week for the UBS Hong Kong Open, the 50th anniversary, and obviously a tournament that you won not so long ago, nice to be back here again.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is. It's always nice to come to a tournament that you've won before, and you always feel that coming back to the same course, you always feel a defending type of feel to the thing.
It's funny, the last time I won the Hong Kong Open in 2005, I won the Pro-Am, and I've just won the Pro-Am again. You can see the thing written, it's in the stars now. (Laughter).
So anyway, I'm quite confident. I like the golf course. I like it's feel. I'm not the longest on Tour anymore, and while I never was, I have control, and I think this is a very different type of golf course where you need control more than you do need length or power. And I prefer this type of golf nowadays to other forms of golf that are played now, so I enjoy the feel of this. I enjoy the golf club. I like the golf club itself. I love the city and my wife is here, and we're having a great time.
So, I feel very comfortable here.
RODDY WILLIAMS: All of that obviously helps to feel relaxed.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It helps to relax things and it helps to play good golf. I've always tended to do well in places that I've felt comfortable. In Singapore I feel comfortable; in Hong Kong I feel comfortable, and I've won in those places in the Far East, and I look forward to trying to do something similar again.
How did you enjoy the Pro-Am this morning.

Q. Now that you've just told us you won.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Because I didn't think our score was very good, so yours must have been bloody awful.

Q. We had two pros in the group. (Laughter) But are you in 2008 mode still, or are you excited to be in 2009 mode?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'm excited now that we have come to a new era within The European Tour, and you see the new logos everywhere and we've now gone all-blue, as opposed to all-green, and I think it's good that we've changed our corporate image, if you like. And this Race to Dubai has begun and I think we are very, very fortunate to have that one on our Tour and the world's richest event is now played on The European Tour.
We have a lot of interest from the likes of Anthony Kims and Adam Scotts and people of that calibre joining our Tour again, and I am no different. I am in 2009 mode. I've got two tournaments to play. I've got this one. And, of course, we defend the World Cup, Scotland; just thought I'd throw that in, next week. And I look forward to playing in both of those tournaments of course.
Then I've got a fair time off. I've got five or six weeks off, which is very unusual for me, and we will take note of what's gone on and work on goals for the 2009 season, but I really do feel that this is the start of something that we're all involved with here and we are very fortunate to be that way.

Q. We just had Nick in saying that he would like to captain Europe in the next Ryder Cup; who would you like?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I mean, there's a big push for Sandy, Sandy Lyle. He's by my way in Scotland, now that we both live in Perthshire, but I think it would be a shame if Sandy did miss out. His other colleagues, the other four major winners that we've had in Europe of that era have all captained The Ryder Cup Team, and I think it would be a shame if Sandy did miss out somehow.
I would personally like him to be involved, and it would be nice if his two pals, Torrance and Woosnam, were by his side, two past winners of the Ryder Cup, if you like, would help him through. That would be a good threeball, if you like, to try and win back The Ryder Cup. It appears that it's just a one-hit deal right now, so it would be going against; it would show a precedent if Nick was to do that again.
So I think it is a one-hit deal, and I think it should remain that way. Nothing against anyone trying to do it twice. I just think it should be a one-deal and that's your go, if you like, yes.

Q. What are your ambitions for the season?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I'm languishing, I'm outside the Top 100 in the world for the first time ever, and I've got to get back inside that Top 100 in a hurry and back inside the Top 50 in a hurry to compete on the world stage again.
I still feel that without question, feel that I should be in the Top 50. It's just a matter of proving it, mainly to myself, and if I can remain in the Top 50 for the next seven years of which I'm exempt on the Tour, I'm exempt through to 2015 on this tour, and I would intend to be playing golf until that stage. I'll be 52 then. If I can get back in that Top 50 and remain there for the next six years, I'll be very happy, so that's a goal.

Q. Does that mean that you have to play a lot more tournaments?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not necessarily, no. To get back in the Top 50, I've got to play in some tournaments that I might not have had on the schedule before because I'm not into certain world events and certain majors. You'll probably find me playing in some obscure locations more than I would normally, but that's what I've got to do to get back into the scene here and to get back into the Top-50 in the world.

Q. Does that mean we'll see more of you in Asia?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, indeed. We have plans for the Volvo China Open and also the Ballantine's tournament. That's two tournaments that are on the schedule in 2009 that possibly wouldn't have been otherwise, because of my scheduling differences next year.

Q. What do you think changed in your game that dropped you out of the Top 100?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think I put too much pressure on the putting. I blamed the putting, but it wasn't the putting at all. I just put too much pressure on it. I was giving myself far too many 8-footers for pars, and as you know, given so many, you're going to miss loads.
Before I was giving myself 20-footers for birdies and 2-putting. 8-footers for pars is not the way to go, and I think I was putting too much pressure on the putting, blaming it, but actually it wasn't that at all. It was actually getting there.
So I've managed to work that out, and I come here with more confidence about the long game, if you like, to take pressure off the putting and relieve that pressure so that I can compete again. And it was just sort of a spiraling downward that you find that you if do putt badly, then everything else seems to go with it and you walk on to the next tee and you're down. It doesn't matter what you made on the last hole; if you made the putt, you walk on the tee in a different mood if you like, with different confidence, and that's what I've been lacking, of course, is the confidence. So it's a crazy game at the best of times.
RODDY WILLIAMS: We just had Nick in earlier on, he was talking about some of the things about junior golf, and he would be encouraging them to be down at the testing centers and work on analysing their swings and things like that, where that's really not something you've ever done. What would be your views on tips for youngsters at the moment who are just starting out in the game.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think he has a point there. I wouldn't analyse as much as Nick does. Obviously Nick's very analytical in his approach to the game.
I would definitely encourage juniors to go down to test certainties as he suggests, but more so in these test centres to get clubs that are fitted to them, to get the clubs that fit for them. I'm convinced that 90 per cent of amateurs that we play with every Wednesday are using clubs that are unsuitable for their needs.
And also, there's a few pros out there that are using clubs that I think, hang on a minute there, doesn't seem to suit his game. So if these club fitters could help the juniors in that way to start by using clubs that are beneficial to them, would be a great asset to them and use in my view, use what talent has been given to them. But they have got to use the equipment that best suits them first.
Well, I hope to see you here on a frequent basis from Thursday until late Sunday.
RODDY WILLIAMS: The omens are there.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I said that in the Pro-Am, last time I won a Pro-Am, ever, I won the tournament, so there you go. I haven't won a Pro-Am for three years, so there you go.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Well, good luck, and hopefully see you in here for the prize-giving of the 50th anniversary.

End of FastScripts

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