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June 6, 2010

Colin Montgomerie


Q. You have played four competitive rounds round here now, how do you think it stacks up as a Ryder Cup challenge?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think it stacks up tee to green as one of the best courses we play right now and I am not the only person who is saying that. I have read the reports from other top players and they feel the same way. Very, very few courses get as less criticism as this if you know what I mean. This is fabulous tee to green. The changes that have been done not just by myself but by EGD (European Golf Design) have been fantastic and have proved worthy. I think the pin locations are going to be similar to those that we play in October and I think the pin placements need a lot of thought, it is not just about length here, you need to be in the right side of the fairway for certain pin positions, it is a great set-up. I am biased in some ways but, as I said, I am not the only one saying this, a lot of the top players are saying exactly the same thing. This is a great test of golf and people are enjoying playing the course, they are enjoying the challenges of certain shots into tight pin locations and the challenge of hitting the fairway is number one because you can't get near the pins if you're off the fairway. It has proven itself over the last four days, yes.

Q. Have you seen any other subtle changes you'd like to make?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I've mentioned something to David Garland who is the Tournament Director of The Ryder Cup, just a couple of walkways between the greens and the next tees but nothing to do with the golf course, the golf course is fine.

Q. Past captains have tweaked the course to suit their particular team, any thoughts on that respect as yet?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't, well I do...and that's why I don't if you know what I mean.

Q. It's a secret you mean?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No it's not, I just think you can tie yourself in knots if you're not careful by setting up courses for European players and then you fall short of it yourself. The golf course stands up and I will allow the best team to win and hopefully that will be us.

Q. What are your thoughts going into Sunningdale tomorrow?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I was five over after seven today and that wasn't very good and I was six over after nine yesterday which was awful but I managed to rally back and I got five birdies in the last 11 holes there and so that shows a bit of form, that there is something there and I look forward to trying to qualify at Sunningdale tomorrow. It means a lot to me to play in the Open, I was second there to Tiger the last time as I'm sure you're aware and I would love to play in this Ryder Cup year at St Andrews. It is almost a celebration of golf when you tee up there. You want to be part of it so it is a very important day for me to tomorrow at Sunningdale where I've got two rounds, one on the Old and one on the New and I am starting late which is kind of them because those of us who made the cut here are off later there so I just look forward to trying to achieve a goal which is finishing in the top ten tomorrow.

Q. They are the kind of courses you've enjoyed in the past?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I enjoy Sunningdale, it is a nice place to be more than anything else. There are a few places in the world where is it is nice to be, just to walk round, and Sunningdale Old is one of them, and the New Course for that matter. I qualified there in 2004 when I had to for Troon, the only other time I have had to qualify and I look forward to doing the same tomorrow.

Q. You said this was one of the best courses we play tee to green, are you not happy with the greens?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, not at all. I didn't say the greens weren't good. Mostly now on Tour we play courses that are a putting competition, this isn't. You've got to get there, here, and this is a ball strikers course and that is what I mean from tee to green, I didn't mean that the greens weren't good.

Q. Have the tees been used this week so you can see what they were like?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I didn't have any say in where the tees were located this week. In fact I do feel that the 14th hole plays a lot better from the back tee now and there was a couple of other changes. I think the fifth hole, the tee was moved forward over the weekend, which I don't think was necessary but at the same time I didn't have any say where the tees or pins were located this week.

Q. Do you have a particular interest in how Simon Dyson and Graeme McDowell do today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very much so, Graeme, Simon, the leader, Thomas Bjorn. There's a talented golfer.

Q. Were you tempted to have a dinner with prospective Ryder Cup players this week?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Not at all. I'll be speaking to them afterwards and I'll be speaking to them over the next few weeks and at Pebble Beach and I will ask the players who played here what they thought because I'm not playing here, it is nothing to do with me. It is to do with them and whether they are happy and comfortable, that is what it is about.

Q. You played with Oliver Wilson today, what are your thoughts on him?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very good player, very solid player. He said himself that he hasn't been performing over the past six months or so but there is lots of time left for him. He is a current Ryder Cup player and a good one, and has a great short game and anyone with that type of short game is difficult to beat in match play.

Q. Your old World Cup winning partner (Marc Warren) had a 63 today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I saw that. That was overdue. He has real talent Marc Warren and that was overdue so that was nice for him and it was nice to see. 63 with a bogey is a good score and nice to see. Here's hoping he can show some form. He is playing tomorrow as well of course so let's hope for all the Scots that are playing tomorrow it means a lot to us to try and play at St Andrews. The support we get at St Andrews and I can only speak for what happened to me five years ago, so I look forward to it as much as all Scots do.

Q. It is 96 players for ten places, that is a tall order?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, it beats 96 for nine.

Q. Do you think your current off course issues will affect your Ryder Cup captaincy at all?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, not at all.

Q. Do you think it will be resolved quickly?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh yes, oh yes. I've been working on it for the last year so there is no issue.

End of FastScripts

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