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October 2, 2010

Colin Montgomerie


GORDON SIMPSON: Colin, well, momentum is a wonderful thing in Ryder Cups, and it's evident that the momentum is clearly with Europe at the moment, although the score favours the States.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes. Although none of these games is finished this afternoon, obviously, and we are in a very, very strong position obviously. Lunch time, early afternoon when the foursomes finished, you know, it was a bit stale.
The way that Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar finished that particular game against Rory and Graeme, all credit to them for finishing the way they did, and that's all about Ryder Cup, so to finish that way was fantastic, and to get that point for America, and of course that would have tied the game, making it 6-4, as it is now.
All we had to do there was come out, and my objective at the start of the, session, 6-4 down was to get into the singles 8-all. I felt there wasn't enough passion on the golf course. We have plenty of other ways of winning this, but passion, we didn't have. We didn't have the passion. I felt that with the team, I felt with the spectators, that believe me, have done a hell of a job out there. For those of you who haven't been out, you've made the right decision. (Laughter).
Poor Sir Terry Matthews having to oversee this place after these matches are done. I've got two games 2-up, one game 3-up, one game 1-up, and we have never had six games on the golf course before in a Ryder Cup before Sunday, and all are up.
And I just felt that unfortunately that the scoreboards were showing more action than they actually do the score. And tomorrow morning, you'll see less action and more scoreboards, because this is -- I've asked for that, and this is good to see the momentum going, as we say.
Momentum is key in these matches, and we haven't had any yet. We have lost the first two series. This is the third and last series before the singles. And it's been a superb session from the moment that we set off, we started winning the first hole. And delighted for Pádraig to win this morning, and I put that pairing together again, and they are leading us off in fine fashion.
Then really, I mean, the two foursomes are key, key games, because they are the tough ones, foursomes, in this format. Luke and Lee, to be 4-up against, you have to say, possibly the strongest American pairing in Steve Stricker, and of course Tiger; to be 4-up, I know Steve has just holed a very good putt on the 9th to get the game back to 4.
And Rory and Graeme have done fantastic and have a great opportunity to get another one on the 8th hole with Graeme's shot in. So they were the tough ones, but I'm very, very impressed with everyone's play and attitude this afternoon, and evening.
It was a very important two hours of play that -- very important two hours of play, and we came through it with flying colours. So the job is half-done and we have to keep going, and maintain this momentum tomorrow morning, and then you know, we'll see how we're lying going into the singles.
But it's a very difficult job for me, the singles. I'm answering all your questions here. (Laughter) Very, very difficult job for the singles draw, you know, whether we are all-up or whether we are all-square or whether we are down. You know, probably three singles draws will be made with respect to the European players as to how we'll lie, and so it's an important meeting we've got with everybody tonight.
May I say, it's fantastic to have my old friend, Olazábal, on the golf course with me today. He was not allowed a buggy, and I felt with his rheumatoid arthritis, I thought he would struggled, but he was up for it, and the adrenaline has kept him going through the day. And it's super to have him on board, as well, on the golf course. I've got -- the strength I have in those five guys on the golf course right now is second to none, and they have been superb on this radio, I tell you what.
You don't want a CD or replays of what's gone on there. It's fantastic. That's my third battery today. We ran out on two of them and it's about to be recharged again. Fantastic thing. I get reports on every shot, on every putt, on every incident, on every occasion, and they have been brilliant, the five of them on the course today to keep me updated on everything.
I think they can't give me too much information, and they are fantastic.
GORDON SIMPSON: Let's see some questions you haven't answered yet. (Laughter).

Q. Did you ever get to talk to your team en masse today or are you talking to them individually, and how do you change someone's level of passion?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I just felt that we needed to get the crowd on our side, a home advantage. Generally what happens is two-thirds of the points are won at home, and therefore, a third isn't. I just felt that the crowd weren't getting involved enough, because we weren't involving them enough.
We were allowing the Americans to get momentum here, and we had to start off better than we did; and very early on, as you probably saw on your screens there, and your fantastic screens that we have here for you, that there was six blue -- excuse me while I untie my shoes. I must throw these in the bin anyway.
They got up early on, very early on, and fantastic performance by all the players on the course.

Q. Did you think that perhaps you were putting a little too much pressure on telling the guys that they had to get to 8-all and that maybe that could have backfired? It has not so far obviously. Did you feel like there was a bit of pressure on them?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: There's been pressure on them, of course there is. You know, we are playing at home and we probably started out a little bit favourites, so of course there's pressure on them. There's pressure and expectation. I think they are expected to do well, this group I have.
Sometimes expectation is difficult to live up to, but they are living up to it now. It ebbs and flows, as I said yesterday, these matches. You know, to lose the two first sessions, fractionally, as we did, we still felt very confident about going out in this last session.
As I say, no match has been won yet. We are going to retire here 6-4 down, but wake up tomorrow morning and hopefully, hopefully the weather will agree with us, and we can play these matches to a finish to conclusion, and then, of course, we have all 12 singles on the course.
So let's hope the weather will allow us to do this.

Q. Apparently you told one of my colleagues at the BBC that your talk to the team after the second session was less of a pep talk and more of a roasting; I think you used another word. Can you amplify on your approach?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I can't explain what I say. It's on there (indicating radio).
Obviously, the Americans were silencing the crowd through their good play, and that's what happens, and that's what we have done abroad a few times now on American soil; that the more silenced the crowd are, the better it is for the away them. That's what was happening today in the first couple of sessions.
We had to try and get that crowd as our 13th man back on our side by good play. And I was just trying to inform them of that state; get up early, and that's what we did. But I can't repeat what I said.

Q. To what extent did the new schedule affect your strategy for these sessions that we played today; and also, if I may, is there anything else creative that perhaps could or needs to be done to make sure that this tournament ends tomorrow?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, I'm afraid I can control some things. I can't control the weather. And if we have any delays at all tomorrow, it will not finish tomorrow. That's simple as that.
We would love to finish it tomorrow. That was the whole idea of this setup; as long as we still play 28 matches, eight pairs fourball and eight pairs foursome, this is the way to do it and we never lost a minute today.
We pray that we don't lose any time tomorrow. We are starting 15 minutes earlier at 7.45 than we did at 8.00 today to allow extra time to finish the matches tomorrow. But it's still going to be very, very tight to get through.

Q. Will you play the singles sequentially or perhaps a different way of starting, by shotgun, for example?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's -- no. No, no, no. Every match will start on the first tee.
If we were running out of time to that degree, we would all come back on Monday and play the singles then.

Q. Obviously the Americans deserve credit for the way they won that last game of the second session. But from what seemed like a very good position, they lost, the psychological effect on Graeme and Rory in particular.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: That's the two players I spent the most time with, because they were last off. I had time and able to do that. At the same time, they were the two I was concerned about, to be honest, in that way; the way that that match had finished, and it was disappointing for both of them.
But at the same time, they have come out; and from the first hole onwards, they won the first hole, and that gave them something to go with. They had won the 6th, they had won the 7th, great birdie at 7. Graeme has hit it in very close at 8, again, with a chance of going 4-up.
So all credit to them for coming out and playing the way they have. People expect it of them, and this is what I felt was due to happen with the Graeme and the Rory partnership.

Q. Lee Westwood's first time under the gun in six weeks. Can you speak to his performance these past few days?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Quite simply, Lee Westwood is my top-ranked player and has proved it. Simple as that. He's been unbelievable, in the team room, in the locker room, on the range, on the course, some of the shots he hits. He's my best-ranked player, and has proved it so far.
GORDON SIMPSON: As Colin said, he's got a very important meeting tonight, and he'll head off there straightaway.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sorry, there's another question, provided it's about golf. (Laughter).

Q. You say you asked that the screens to show less action?

Q. For the spectators, do you think they might not like to see the action around the course, and if they are seeing European putts going in, the atmosphere will come anyway?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Sure. We have just lost the view of the blue down the left-hand side of a scoreboard. The score boards are different this particular year where every match comes up separately on the right-hand side of the scoreboard, as opposed to having a scoreboard that is -- the so-called old-fashioned scoreboard where the plastic numbers are put up.
And there's more action than there is score boards; and sometimes, unfortunately for the crowd's sake, because I do feel for them, they have done bloody well, the crowd, they really have. Unfortunately what happens is that they are switched off sometimes in the middle of a putt or a putt or the middle of a something and it's a shame they can't see that anyway. What I want to have out there is that six blue numbers on that left-hand side of that board shining very bright tomorrow morning, and to continue that way.

Q. And why didn't you start earlier this morning?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: We started at 8.00 this morning, as opposed to 7.45, forgive me, for not -- I said that the play would start at 8. You would have to ask John Paramor, the Chief Referee, regarding that. I wasn't in on that one.
GORDON SIMPSON: We are now joined by Corey, so Colin thank you very much.

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