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January 16, 2009

Colin Montgomerie


Q. Was it a smooth process or hard-working battle?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: The 67 was very smooth actually. I missed a number of putts on the front nine which was our back nine actually and I played very well, very well. Good chances on most holes: 28 putts for 67, which shows that I was hitting most greens. And it was a good start to the so-called year, I suppose, to score 5-under around a course of I think quite difficulty, and the breeze is picking up and as difficult as we have ever played this course.

Q. Does that mean your first round was the one where you really had to work?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: My first drive of the year was out-of-bounds left under a car; somebody decided, well, I'll move the car. Well, if you move the post around the core, that would be okay. So that was not available, out-of-bounds.
So after 2-over after five holes, 5-under is a reasonable effort.

Q. How surprised or content or you to be where you are now?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very content. This is a very important three weeks for me to get back into the World Rankings, if you like. I've got to get back into the Top 50 as soon as possible, and to play in the World Golf Championships and to challenge again. But at the same time, it's a long haul. I know that, and if it doesn't happen this year, well let's hope it happens next. It's a gradual process of trying to get back into the world's elite, really.

Q. While you've been out shooting the 67, the cat is out of the bag, the odds of you being the next Ryder Cup captain have tumbled within last few hours. What's going on and what do you know?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I don't know what the situation is, but all I can tell you is we have a meeting now on Wednesday now. It was supposed to be Monday. We all got a text message last night from Thomas and Jamie experience telling us we are due on Wednesday in Dubai, and we are looking forward to making a selection then.

Q. There seemed to be a mysterious 20-minute bathroom break for you during the meeting; was that significant?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: They all are significant. (Guffaws of laughter).

Q. Tell us seriously, if you are as close to being the next Ryder Cup captain, how do you feel about it?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It would be an honour to be to be selected but we are no further forward with that selection process, as we left the meeting last Tuesday day. You'll know more as we leave the meeting on Wednesday, I believe.

Q. So one last question. Do you think then if it is going to come to pass, whether they offer the job to you, is it going to be right time to you?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'll have to let you know Wednesday about if that has been offered or not. But at this stage it hasn't, so I know as much as you guys do.

Q. Hope everything is as significant for you the rest of the day, thank you.

Q. Is it a surprise at all to have seen these odds or to hear of these odds tumbling?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's the first I've -- from David, on to the television there. I'm as surprised as you guys. I saw a lot of press around here, and I was wondering why, because 67 for me doesn't really suggest this number of press nowadays.
So we just wait and see. I don't know why this should be. I don't know what's happened. But at the same time, you know, we'll all find out on Wednesday evening of Dubai.

Q. Can you outline for us, as a committee member as much as anything else, how you envisage this process going forward now?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, we've given ourselves a couple of hours. We have a number of names were ban died around the room. We will make the selection for the right guy for this job on Wednesday evening. That's all I can say at this stage.

Q. You've been very clear in saying that you've been feeling 2014 is your time at Gleneagles. Has anything happened recently that would change your mind on that?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Nothing at this time. No, nothing at all at this time. I'll captain The Ryder Cup Team hopefully when it's the right time to do that.

Q. This is a time, really, for a big, decisive captaincy move, because we do have to wrest back the initiative, doesn't we?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is important, and whoever is given that role, that task, that honour, if like, next Wednesday, I think we will between us, we are a very good committee, actually, well-run and we had a lot of good discussion on there and good debate. I think it is important, very important, to get the right guy for this particular role to win back The Ryder Cup, because we felt that we had the strongest team last time and didn't win.
The Americans have had that initiative before and had not won and we found ourselves in their position last time and it's important to win it back, very important to win it back, especially at so-called home, if you like.

Q. If you were to be honoured with the job at any time, would you find it difficult not to accept it?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, well, I'll come to that decision if and when offered.

Q. Where do you stand on wanting to play for the team next time? That's a sticking point for Ollie, would that be a sticking point to you, that you want to play in the next Ryder Cup?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: All I've ever said in The Ryder Cup situation is that I would love to help the European cause any way, shape or form. I would have loved to help the European cause in 2008; I wasn't given that opportunity and I would like to help the European cause in any way, shape or form in 2010.

Q. You've been very consistent over the last 12 months saying you did not want to do it in 2010 and 2012 because you want to do it in 2014.

Q. Is that still the case?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It hasn't changed to that degree. I haven't been -- I don't know why there's betting. I don't look at the bets. I'm not a betting man. I don't look at this at all. I don't know where this has come from. I don't know why this or how this has come around. I have no idea. I wouldn't read anything into me going to the bathroom the other night. I needed to go.
But at the same time, as we say, we've got a great committee and we will select the right man for the job, because as you so rightly said, it's an important, very, very important Ryder Cup this one, to select the right one. That's why we have taken so long and the process is so important.

Q. You were quoted that saying that Nick Faldo at 50 was a bit too old to be in touch with the younger guys. Simple math makes you 51 in 2014.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That was discussed. That was discussed at the meeting about that, and we had good debate on that. That's why that meeting went on so long the other night, and we have not come to any conclusions.

Q. But might that lengthen the odds on you doing it in 2014 and doing it in 2010?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That is possibly why people put money on it, but I don't understand why, at this stage.

Q. In an ideal world, would you like to play 2010, is that your preference?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Having played in eight, it doesn't really affect what or how I would help the European cause one way or another. I would like to help the European cause in any way, shape or form.

Q. Do the circumstances now override personal considerations? You may prefer to be captain in 2014, but if a committed captain said yes, now, I can do it and is needed to drive the ship through, that's more important?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Possibly, possibly. We haven't come to that situation yet. As I say, we have a very important meeting on Wednesday, and we'll go for it then.

Q. Is it fair to say that one of the things that was established on Tuesday, was that the time has come to have some principles for the captaincy, one that it should be given to the most appropriate person?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That is a principle, yes.

Q. That was hammered out at the meeting?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, I can tell you that.

Q. The man best suited for the job?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, the man best suited for the job at the time.

Q. This theory that players, captains should be playing in tournaments with the players they -- seeing how they react?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: There is debate on that I suppose where the age of the captain is becoming an issue.
But that was discussed and debated, along with a number of other items as you've probably heard. So we haven't come to any conclusion about that, but it certainly was debated, yes.

Q. And what about yourself, because of that theory?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Depends on how far out or how many tournaments you are playing or whatever the case may be. But to be honest with you, the captain, the team is the most important thing here. You put out whatever it is, and you hope that they come back with points, and that's it.
So as I said, you know, to yourself, that we will select, on Wednesday, there will be a decision made, I'm sure, that the best man for the job will be selected on Wednesday.

Q. You've been vocal in your support for Sandy Lyle; do you still feel as strongly?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It would be, as I've always said, a great shame if Sandy doesn't. I've always said that. I think that his other four colleagues, if you like, his other four peers in that era we had have done the job and it would be a shame if Sandy does miss out, but that's not my -- that's not my end decision. I'm one of a committee of I think 17, and I'm one voice in that.

Q. Is a player captain a possibility, or is that ruled out?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, that's ruled out. That is definitely ruled out. You cannot do both.

Q. If the committee offered you the job that on the condition should you play yourself on to the team, you would not take up the position; would you accept the job?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's hypothetical, and therefore, cannot be answered. (Laughter). But a very good committee.

Q. Is announcing two captains an option?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't think that will be done again.

Q. Is the hypothetical question facing José Maria at the moment going to influence the selection, do you think?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think he's playing next week, if I'm not mistaken, and he's playing hopefully in Dubai, as well, so the best thing to do is to ask him on that one.

Q. Will the fact that he's playing next week be significant and give him an opportunity to see where he stands at the moment?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think it will be significant, yes, indeed.

End of FastScripts

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