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THE VIVENDI TROPHY WITH SEVERIANO BALLESTEROS


September 23, 2009


Colin Montgomerie


SAINT-NOM-LA-BRETECHE, FRANCE

GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Colin it's a familiar event for you, but an unfamiliar position you're in.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It is. I've played in all five before obviously, captained four of them. We have won the last four, which has been great as the Great Britain and Ireland team. That's a different role, I suppose, a different overseeing the two captains that I had a say in putting this place.
And I think it's worked out well. I think they both have a huge respect of their own players in Thomas Björn and Paul McGinley, and interested to see how they get on. They have really taken it on themselves to really do this properly. Paul I've spoken to, and Thomas a lot, over the last few months, and they are really very keen to do a good job for their respective players.
I think it's a very interesting week for myself in many, many ways. As Paul McGinley said yesterday; he's learning, and although I captained this particular Seve Trophy, was it was, Vivendi Trophy now, four times, I'm learning on a different role in that I'm looking at both teams and understanding what's going on and having a look and seeing exactly how they are playing and how they feel and how comfortable they are and everything about them.
So they might not see me watching them, but believe me, I am.
GORDON SIMPSON: You're completely neutral this week, aren't you?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I am. I'm completely neutral. I would like each teams to be playing well of course and the result, I hope it's very close. I hope it comes down to the last putt on the last green of the last singles match, which would be super, and may the best team win on that occasion.

Q. Are you going to be sort of like a traffic cop on your buggy out there, just sort of trying to blend in and catch people speeding?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I wondered how you it was going to finish but you finished it well. You did, you did well there. (Laughter).
No, there will be times where the players won't see me and there will be times where I make myself very visible.
So they know. The times they do see me, they will want to be trying to impress and it will be interesting how they play according to that. You know, the qualifying has now started and this is very much, very much odds on here. There's a number of players in this 20 that will be playing at Celtic Manor, there's no question, and it will be interesting to see who per forms as to one, their rankings, and two, how they really per form within a team environment and for their own captains and for their own team and see them as a team and see them per form.
Interesting that there's a number of players that are unknown quantities in many ways. There's a few that played before. But unknown quantity, unfair to say Rory McIlroy, unknown quantity, because of course he's become a world player very quickly.
But his partner tomorrow, his opponent tomorrow, Alvaro Quiros, an unknown quantity within a match_play situation. It will be interesting to see how he gets on. A man full of potential and yet it will be interesting to see how he goes. It will be interesting to see how Robert Karlsson has come back from his illness. Chris Wood is another one in match play that I have not seen in match play. I have watched him per form many times in stroke play. Very, very good obviously. A great potential, again. Francesco Molinari, I have not seen him in match play before, either.
So there's a number of newcomers to this that are obviously wanting to impress not just their own captains and their own teammates, but me. This is wonderful.
The weather is set fair. The golf course is in fantastic condition. We've missed it, really. We've missed here. It's a very elegant place altogether, this. It's super. There's some new tees out there, some new green designs and new tees and it's playing long. All credit to Vivendi for making this, we all feel, we all feel the best one yet.

Q. Talking to Paul just a minute ago about the list of high_profile absentees from his team, you said he had spoken to Lee but that was it, but you had had a lot of personal dealings with the others.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes.

Q. Can you perhaps enlighten us on that, and how disappointed you feel that they are not here?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Okay. Well, we'll leave Lee out. I've spoken to Paul Casey. Obviously he's injured. He has not played for a number of weeks, so that's most unfortunate. The same as Martin Kaymer I suppose on The European Team, I knew nothing about that.
Ian Poulter, I feel that not having qualified for THE TOUR Championship, if you like, the final FedEx event, and having been picked for the last Ryder Cup Team, I felt that a little more effort might have been made to come here. But apart from that, there's others on both teams that, you know, I have a very strong view about players playing for this amount of money.
I spoke to Miguel Angel Jiménez; he has never missed one of these and never would miss one. Good for him, you know, and I the same and Paul McGinley the same and Thomas. So sometimes these things happen. I have a say in next year's three tournaments that I would love people to be competing in next year on our tour, one of them, our Flagship Event, the BMW PGA Championship. I'll be e_mailing, as I do have a tour e_mail now and I'll be e_mailing every player to make sure that every one of them is competing in our Flagship Event.

Q. You'll excuse Padraig and Luke because they are playing in THE TOUR Championship?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, I haven't mentioned that.

Q. Would you put Justin Rose in the same category as Ian Poulter?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not having not been selected to play in The Ryder Cup team last year.

Q. Did you speak to Mr. Poulter?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I haven't. No. No, I haven't. I haven't at all. But I don't want to __ please don't make any big issue of this and I don't want a big of it. I just feel that when you are selected for your country, Continental Europe and Great Britain and Ireland, more of an effort might well have been made.
But I would like to focus on the players that are here and not the players that aren't, and it does give opportunity. I'd like this to be mentioned, as well. It does give opportunity for those who wouldn't have otherwise have played, and give them opportunity to impress not just the captains and their teammates but me also so, it gives opportunity.
I know the likes I've played with and match played with the likes of Ian Poulter, captained for him a couple of times in the Seve Trophy, and Justin Rose and Westwood and Harrington and Luke Donald; I know their potential.
This is interesting this week because as I said earlier, I'm not sure about a few of them, so it will be interesting to see how they get on. So it gives opportunity, as well, as any.

Q. How pleased are you to see Rory here after what he said about the exhibition match?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That wasn't taken __ please don't ever mention that again. That wasn't a comment that was in any way, shape or form a representation of The Ryder Cup. He will understand when and if he plays in The Ryder Cup, of course he will, some time in his career that he will understand that it isn't __ and it's very different, and not having played in a Ryder Cup was just na√Įve, that's all. So please don't make anymore of that for him.

Q. He's made the effort to be here this week __
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very much so, I'm glad he's made the effort to come here. Super effort. Best of luck to him this week to see how many points he can accumulate. He's one of our great potentials, and I wish him well.

Q. Have you spoken to Seve at all in the past few weeks?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I haven't personally. He wrote __ I know he's written to Thomas Björn and to Paul McGinley. He probably was probably unaware that I was here on this role, but obviously the letter, I've read the letter that Paul McGinley was sent. I've read Paul's copy, and a very good letter it was, and very supportive. Wish he could be here. He's still in recovery. Wish him well.

Q. What's your best guest to how many players that are playing here will be at Celtic Manor next year?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: You're trying to get the 12 in my drawer.
Difficult to say now. A number. There's 20 here. What, you could have over half the team here playing here. You could have, quite easily.

Q. Are over half your team playing here?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's not for me to say __ well, it is for me to say, and I'm not going to. We could have half the team playing here, so it's all very friendly in the locker rooms.
I've been around both team rooms as I do. I left my golf bag in the Europe Team room and I left my golf shoes in the Great Britain and Ireland Team room. So I'm sitting on a fence here. I can't seem to be on anybody's side, completely non_partisan.
But at the same time, it's all very friendly. But as I've always noticed in these tournaments, on the first tee, it just takes for someone not to give a putt of 2 1/2 feet, it just takes someone to not give one, for some reason, he might have missed one himself just a three_foot, and wants the guy to hole it, or something like that. It just takes something for that to happen, and then it's, wow, okay, this is game on here.
Both teams are right up to try and win this. Europe, as it's been said in the papers, a favourite, on a World Ranking sense and an Order of Merit sense. Europe are favourites, but Britain and Ireland have a super record in this event, and I wish them well personally all the best.

Q. Why did you bring your clubs?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I played in the Pro_Am today. I was playing with some of the Vivendi people today. I think coming to a golf tournament without my clubs would be most odd. I think I'll do it once at The Ryder Cup but then again there's a team photo at The Ryder Cup and it would be bloody silly if my bag doesn't have any clubs in it. (Laughter).
So I'll be taking my clubs to Celtic Manor, but I won't be playing.

Q. You could step in for Simon Dyson.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: He has been ill; food poisoning. But apparently it's a mild infection, and he should be okay for tomorrow. I hope he is.

Q. Is that a serious possibility?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, you tell me, who is the reserve for the British team?
GORDON SIMPSON: There isn't one.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Correct. And who is British that's sort of __ I'm still all right. I still get it around. I was well under par today. I could help the odd group.

Q. You could be a marker, couldn't you.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I could be a marker. That's right, I could play with __ who is he playing with? There you go. I could mark with Oliver Wilson.
No, he'll be okay tomorrow. He's resting I believe as Paul so possibly told you, and he'll be okay.

Q. So that's not going to happen? You're not going to play in this match, or is it still a possibility?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: If one of the team is ill, if one of the British team is ill, there's no time to get a reserve here in time, so possibly, I don't know the situation. We'd have to speak to the organisation. But I don't think I'm in a position to play, no. I haven't qualified at all. So I don't know what would happen in that situation. But it's not for me to say. It's for David Probyn, the top director, to make that decision, if one of our team happens to be not well.
GORDON SIMPSON: Colin, enjoy your roving role this week.

End of FastScripts




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