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November 26, 2008

Alastair Forsyth

Colin Montgomerie


RODDY WILLIAMS: Thanks very much for coming in and joining us. Welcome Scotland as defending champions for the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup. We'll give you a chance to get your breath, Colin. Shall we start with Alastair for a few thoughts on what it's like to be here this week.
ALASTAIR FORSYTH: It's great. I've played the World Cup a few times, really enjoyed it. Never played with Colin before, but looking forward, coming in as defending champions adds a little bit of spice to it, even though I had nothing to do with that.
No, it's obviously a pleasure to play with Monty. He's been around the course and done it all for Scottish and European golf, so it will be great to be by his side.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Colin, from your point of view as well, how do you feel being back here at Mission Hills?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Delighted really. Feel slightly different with a new partner, but at the same time delighted to come back to a venue, that having won the inaugural OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup, it was a great honour for us, and the first time Scotland had won the event. We had been runner-up, I believe half a dozen times before, and it was good that we came here and eventually won after having lost in a playoff the previous year.
So, it's great, and we're both playing okay, and we look forward to trying to defend. We've got a busy day tomorrow. We'll be playing with the local Chinese team, and out last, so it will be busy. We look forward to trying to get off to a good start to build from there.
But I've always said this format is all about how well you do in the foursomes part of it, and Marc (Warren) and I did particularly well in the foursomes. We were 66 and 67, and that's what won it for us, and this is what Alastair and I have to do again is to go well in the foursomes format. The four-ball is an easier format tomorrow but Friday and Sunday being foursomes is a harder one.
So, we look forward to trying to defend. It's always a great honour to do so.

Q. Monty, last year, you won a handsome gold coat. Have you had occasion to wear it?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No. It actually hangs, believe it or not, it was going to go to charity, believe it or not, and we haven't found the right occasion for it to depart Guy's office. It's like on the back of the door in his office. You can ask him if he's worn it or not. He's got more chance of wearing it than I have.
I'm delighted with the number of seats here (looking across theatre). It would just about hold my family. it's great. It's a fantastic theatre, this, and a fantastic place. It's an honour, as I said, to be here. We just had a lovely lunch afterwards and everything is set up great, fabulous, and all credit to Mission Hills and everyone connected with the club here for hosting us the way they do.

Q. Just taking up Monty's point about the importance of the foursomes, from the outside, at least, it would seem a great similarity between your games. So would that be an advantage, presumably, foursomes?
ALASTAIR FORSYTH: I think it probably is. In four-ball, sometimes you've got two guys that are different type of players, or maybe a long hitter and a shorter hitter sometimes can be quite a good combination.
But foursomes, yeah, certainly today, we were pretty much neck-and-neck off the tee and had the same irons into holes. So that is something that could be quite helpful, as well.
Even in the four-ball as well, going into the par 3s and stuff, you know that you can learn off each other's clubbing. But yeah, foursomes, generally both of you have to play well. So you know, as long as we're playing all right, then we should do well.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's important -- sorry to carry on. I think it's important tomorrow. People say: Oh, good, a long hitter and a short hitter or whatever the case may be. But to have two putts for birdie is vital tomorrow. You have a chance at holing one of them if you have two putts for it. It doesn't matter how long you are. You have two balls on the greens and two putts for birdies and that gives you an opportunity here. That's the format that we are playing to, and others, you know, hopefully for their sakes, should follow.
But at the same time, it is two balls in play, is much better than one long one on his own.

Q. You've found a bit of form last week, and this week presents a different challenge both in terms of format and in terms of the course.

Q. Have you made the adjustments and brought that form with you, and maybe just from Alastair, once you've finished, how has your form been over the past couple of days, too?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I had a very good chance of winning last week. There was a putt that should have been in on the 9th. It lipped out and I'd been two behind the lead with nine holes to go, and it didn't go in and I bogeyed the 10th, actually, which is disappointing.
So I had a very good chance of winning last week with ten holes to go, so that's a much, much, huge improvement from what it's been going, and I enjoy this format. Any team golf, I tend to perform better in than I do on my own.
So therefore, bringing one's form in, is an easy -- has been an easy task. I played okay today. I wouldn't say I was great today but I found my way around the course again and I know my way around here.
We played six rounds last year, and I look forward to doing something very similar, this and trying to avoid having to play 75 holes this year as opposed to -- so it's up to Alastair to actually win this year without having to go to a playoff, because I hate playoffs. My playoff record is terrible, and I'm glad I had a partner last year.
So we'll try and do one better this year win without a playoff.
ALASTAIR FORSYTH: Yeah, I suppose my form of late hasn't been particularly good. But today felt all right. I left my coach, Bob Torrance, a few weeks ago and I've been working with Ian Rae, a guy I worked with a few years ago and working on a few different things. That will take a bit of time over the wintertime to get into my swing.
Working on a couple different little things, and I'm definitely feeling the improvement already.

Q. How tough of a decision, was that, to leave Bob after so long?
ALASTAIR FORSYTH: Yeah, it's never an easy thing to do. Bob's obviously got a hell of a reputation in the game. Harrington has won just about anything he plays in at the moment. It's tough. You've just got to do what's right for yourself, and my golf has not been good enough. It's nowhere near as good as I know it can be, and I've been working trying to improve that and it has not happened.
You know, there will always comes a time where you feel -- where you have the feeling that it's not going the direction that you want to go, and I had to look at a video of myself and I didn't like a few things. I felt it was time to work with someone else.

Q. How is your married life?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, that's very, very sweet of you, thank you. Well, yes, it's new, it's interesting, and I've changed countries. I lived in London for 20 years and I'm now back in Scotland living in Perthshire, which is great. Quality of life has risen, and I look forward to seeing my new wife on Monday morning when I get home back to Scotland. Thank you.

Q. Does the accounting question going on recently affect your sponsorship at all?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Good question. It affects us all. It's a global economic crisis, if you like, and we are very, very fortunate in golf. We seem to survive in the early 90s when we had a world recession, if you like, and we seemed to survive that one in golf terms, and I think that we will survive better than most other sports through this one with the likes of OMEGA's support here for a number of years. We are very, very fortunate to come to the Far East and to play the for the amount of money that we are playing for. The prize money was increased again, and we are very, very fortunate, and long may that continue.
I'm not saying that golf is recession-proof, but at the same time, we are very fortunate to be in the game that we are.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you very much, Colin and Alastair, and have a good week.

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