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October 7, 2010

Colin Montgomerie


Q. How special is a day like this?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Can't get much better, especially this morning, it was an absolutely beautiful morning and goes for all three courses. Very, very fortunate to have this weather in October up here, fantastic, and the course is playing great. Super day all around. Played with Martin who played lovely, as per usual, another 4-under, very easy 4-under you'll ever see. No, it was great be to able to play, and enjoy it.
Yeah, relax and not worry about everybody else looking at score boards and worrying about other scores and just yourself.

Q. What's been the reaction?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Fantastic, the caddies, amateur caddies, players, players caddies, everybody that's part of European golf was thrilled with what happened down at Celtic Manor. We all were. It was a big, big win, and I think, you know, when we think about the American Team, the way we do, I think it will come to pass that that team is very, very strong, that American Team. Underestimated and very, very strong. That was a very, very good win from six rookies on our team to come through like that, was a fantastic, fantastic effort.

Q. As you said, first time you've been able to concentrate on your own game; what goals have you set for yourself having achieved your major goal?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, that was the one goal at the start of the year was to win The Ryder Cup and now I'm just trying to make cuts in tournaments, enjoy myself and then start next year completely afresh, fit mentally, physically, and all sorts raring to go for a season ahead.
And I'm looking forward to Abu Dhabi I, already, the first time we play in early January, and I'm looking forward to it, I really am. I'm looking forward to getting into contention and to compete in these tournaments for the first time in, well, 2 1/2 years.

Q. What do you think about Martin scoring 68 and your 72?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: All things considered, I haven't played, I was rusty. Haven't played for a month, and extremely rusty, but I was glad to get around in 72, playing with one of my Ryder Cup Team, of course, and he played his usual very, very well self.
I enjoyed it today, I did. Yeah, very much so. I look forward to playing without any added pressure on my back, if you like, and did okay, 72 is okay. I can get on St. Andrews, of course, I like very much, and hopefully get a descent score, yeah.

Q. Did you feel that you could relax more?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, very much so. Very much so. I enjoyed that round of golf very much, playing with a family member, obviously; Martin playing with his best friend, it was very relaxed and that's what this tournament is about. Until Sunday, of course, it gets rather serious, but until that time, playing with amateur players, I think it's a great tournament, a great format, and when the weather is like this, there's no better place.

Q. What did you expect from yourself today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Around about 72 I would have been happy with. It's a decent course off the back tee. The breeze picked up a little bit towards the end there, and 72 is never a bad score around here. A couple of putts went a bit awry, my short game is not good enough, but that comes with practise. These guys have been playing and practising hard, you know, The Ryder Cup Team, obviously.
So 72, I was -- yeah, I was delighted with it really.

Q. A lot of nice comments out there, Colin?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very much so. You get clapped onto every green and often green, and the crowds are super, and the weather was a delight for October up here. This is as good as it gets and we look forward to two more very good days coming up.

Q. More people today, following from The Ryder Cup?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think so. People are more interested in the game of golf now and that's part of our success, I suppose. You know that we'll bring more people into the game of golf, and seeing that and watching that and hopefully more kids and more youths will start taking up the game and seeing that dramatic finale as it was. It can only encourage people to play the game, and come out and watch.

Q. When is the last time you would have played with your brother socially?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Goodness me, we don't get an opportunity. Twice or three times a year, max, really, over Christmas but that's not really golf. It's more exercise than anything else.

Q. One of the things you said yesterday is that you have to take your game to a new level because the standards have increased so much. Looking at the score boards, you have nine Ryder Cup players, but with other players above them, does that show you how the standard has gone up?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's amazing, that's how difficult it was for me to get to 12 this particular time. I found it extremely difficult to get that team to 12, and then I was finding it extremely difficult to get to eight during The Ryder Cup. Thank God we modified the system and I didn't have to. Let me off the hook.
But at the same time, the standard of golf now is very, very good. I need to find -- I tell you what I do need to find; I need to find 40 yards. That's what I need to find. I know Martin is long, of course he is, but at the same time, if that's the competition nowadays that I have to -- that I have to get to to compete, if I can find 20 yards, 30 yards, I can compete again. I've got to find that.
I don't know, technology, yes, but I'm using equipment that's the highest technology affordable, so I don't really know how else one can do that -- get to the gym, that's what you want me to say. (Laughter) into the gym I'm afraid. List one of these weights that I've never listed before and I think that's the way to go.

Q. Do you feel in reality that is possible or in reality it isn't possible --
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I think I'm going to have to play here. I have five years left, I'm exempt to 2015. I have five years to do it that. I have to make an extra effort and attain new standards and not the standard that I was at in the 90s and to do that, I've got to work at it. I've really got to work at it, on and off the course. And I'd love to be able to come back and win again, yeah, definitely.

Q. Lee has obviously done something similar.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes, he has and all credit to him. He's ten years younger than me, Lee; I'm 47 now. He's 37, and that was my peak. I was No. 1 in Europe when I was 30 through 37. And that was my peak. So I think you sort of hit that time. 47, there's very few people got better in their 40s. Vijay Singh was probably the only one that's ever got better in his 40s than what he was in his 30s.

Q. Jiménez.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, Miguel sustained more, I suppose. I've got to improve. I'll be one of the fuel people that can do that. That's a goal obviously and I'm not saying I can achieve it, but it's a goal.

Q. What's the motivation?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Because I'm still very ambitious. I stand on the first tee of a tournament and I'm raring to go. I want to win. Yeah, I do. I'm very ambitious. I have great drive still to try and win, yeah, and long may that continue.
The fact that I'm 400th-odd in the world, it's actually got stronger.

Q. Was there any stage in the last 18 months you actually regretted having the captaincy in terms of your play?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well, yeah, there's the odd time I missed the cut and realised I was thinking about other things and not concentrating on what I was doing. But I never, ever regretted taking that job, no, no, that was a job that was offered to me and I took it very easily and very quickly and it was the right thing to do.
But I knew it would hurt my own game, and now I'm two years down the line, I have to make up that two years, plus. So it's a lot of hard work ahead. But I'm prepared to do that. I want to do that because I want to compete out here. I do enjoy it. I do enjoy the competition very much more than the game of golf. I do enjoy the competition that it affords me, yeah.

Q. So after chipping away, is 62 a knockout tomorrow?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't know. Depends where the pins are at St. Andrews. That's all to do with where the pins are. If the pins are fair, which they usually are, yes, you can score around there.
Yeah, so I'm looking forward to playing there. I always do.

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