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August 24, 2012

Colin Montgomerie


SCOTT CROCKETT:  Your 68, a very, very good performance, give us your thoughts on the second round.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† Started off well actually.¬† Surprising they changed the start.¬† But I started at 11 and holed a good putt for birdie at 11 and parred 12 and 13, and then birdies 14, 15, 16, 17, which was good and got very unlucky at the last.¬† Hit a 3‑wood at the last and shot up the bank and went up the back and didn't get up‑and‑down and that stopped the momentum really.
And I managed to sort of hang on really from the third hole onwards, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 are all pretty decent holes out there.  And it started to rain around 7 and got really miserable and horrible, and I'm wet now and I want to go home.  And I haven't got far to go.  So I'm going very shortly and I'll be home very quickly.

Q.  Inaudible.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Well, much better.  I've missed the last three cuts before.  I missed Ireland and I missed France and I missed Scotland and that was poor, and then of course I missed The Open by a shot qualifying.  I haven't played since The Scottish Open, been very busy corporately running around the place.
So it's nice to come when all of the tours were practising hard and stuff and I've been doing corporate work and running around, and I'm in the Top‑10 right now, which is great.
It's something to build on, because I've got the next three weeks, I'm playing as well, Switzerland, the KLM and the BMW Italian.  So looking forward to three in a row.

Q.¬† Two wild card positions and a vice captain‑‑
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† I'm up for both now.¬† A couple of 31s, 62s‑‑ the wild card to me would be extremely wild.

Q.  What about the assistant?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  The assistant I do not expect and did not expect and will not be an assistant captain.

Q.  (Inaudible.).
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  No, I'll never, ever, turn down any position to help the European cause or team, ever.  If I'm asked to do something to help The European Tour or the European Ryder Cup Team in any way, of course I'll accept.  I don't envisage being asked on this occasion.  So therefore, I don't have to turn it down.

Q.  Two years ago, you called on Ollie on the Sunday; what are your memories of that?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Well, my choice was quite different.  I had four vice captains already and they were the strongest backroom team that we have ever had in a European Tour and I was delighted to have them all on our side.
I'm glad that Olazábal is taking that long and taken three out of the four of them already.  The reason I asked for his help was because we had to play all six matches around the course at the one time, first time ever in Ryder Cup history that had happened.
So I was covered, until the rules changed.¬† And then when the rules changed, I was one short, because I wanted one person with every match.¬† He was selling coffee, and I thought‑‑ (laughter)‑‑ that was well, well, below his pay grade, and I asked for his help and he was delighted to assist.
Now, me being over there for SKY Sports, I will be in Chicago, and if the same happens again, and he asks for my support, I will be there in a hurry.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† We spoke to Seve before he was on board.¬† He came on board on Friday just the last few days.¬† He spoke to the troops individually and as a group; we all did.¬† He was very good, and he was with Nick Faldo, I believe, on the Saturday night pre‑singles for Nick in 2008.¬† And he's a very passionate man, and he'll be a super captain.
He was always ready for the job and I think it was right that me being 2 1/2 years older than him did it first and he followed me on.  I think it was the obvious choice this particular time and I think he'll do a very, very good job as he has already.

Q.  Given your Ryder Cup record and your Ryder Cup past, does it bother you that the wild card selection this year seems to be clouded by personal issues between Ollie and Pádraig?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† What's that?¬† Look, you try to say there was some personal issues between Poulter and I, as well, when I got onto him for practising‑‑ look, after you're on Tour for 20 years, things happen between players.¬† To me, that should be completely put aside and the best team to go to Chicago should be selected and picked accordingly.¬† There should be no personality involved, and I'm sure Olaz√°bal thinks the same.
I'm just delighted that his decision has been made slightly harder by Pádraig's great score yesterday of 64.  We have Garcia who has done great, who has got into the team, and you know, we have got a couple of guys that are on the fringe now; Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts; if ever there's a course built for him, how it's playing, how wet Gleneagles is this particular year, and I envisage him to do well.  So it might knock out Martin, and therefore, surprising that Martin is not here.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  The other Martin.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  The other Martin.  The Martin.  The No. 1.

Q.  According to Dougie Donnelly, you were doing a bit of singing.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  I'm doing what?

Q.  Singing?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† Dougie came identity for dinner last night but I certainly wasn't singing.¬† I had a bit to drink but it wasn't that amount.¬† I don't think I was singing‑‑ if I was‑‑ I'm a crap singer so I don't tend to sing in public at all.

Q.  While you're here you might as well say what you think about Augusta and the women and what's the repercussions going to be over here.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  What am I to say about Augusta?  What's happened?

Q.  Two lady members.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Great.  Delighted.  They will find it difficult to clear the pond at 15.  (Laughter).

Q.¬† The wild card‑‑
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Depends what Olazábal is thinking.  I haven't spoken to him so I do not know, okay.  This is wild guesswork.  But at the same time, if Poulter is picked, which is assumed, all right, nothing is guaranteed as you realised two years ago; if Ian Poulter is selected, that means that there's no rookies anywhere.
Now, does that mean that he does pick a rookie or does that mean he has all 12 that have done something with Ryder Cup experience before.  That's very difficult to go to America, there's no question.  We found out that on a number of occasions.  It's very difficult to play away from home, and experience is something that is advantageous.
But at the same time, Colsaerts with his length off the tee, is an asset.  He just hasn't played before, so we don't know how he's going to play in a Ryder Cup; who knows.  At least the others have been tested under that pressure.
So it's up to Ollie to decide whether he wants to go with that, or go with somebody else that's had experience, and that's enterally up to him, and his vice captains, who I'm sure will be giving him advice and they will be talking together.
So I can't say.¬† It's not my position to say, but that's‑‑ I'm sure you are feeling the same way as me, that it's up to Ollie to think that if he wants to take a rookie or does he want to take experience on top of experience he already has, because it's the first time I think in living memory that the ten qualifiers have all Ryder Cup experience of some sort.
So that's great.  I mean, you'd want that going to America.  You would want that.  Fortunate that it's all worked out that way.  It's up to him who he wants to select as wild cards, picks or whatever they are called; captain's headaches, I used that term last time.  He doesn't have as difficult a job as I did.
No one ever will, I don't think.  I had eight guys for three spots and they all felt they should be picked and it was very, very difficult.  He's got a much easier task, but in the same time, a very important one.  We wish him well, always.

Q.¬† As a man with lots of opinions and a high profile in the world game, where do you think or where do you stand on the R&A stance to continue the male‑only policy?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† I'm not a member of the R&A and never will be as a pro, so I've got a very difficult‑‑ so I can't say anything about that.¬† I'm just glad that Augusta have selected two lady members for the first time now into the golf club and I'm sure that in this day and age and it's just a matter of time before ladies are members of other golf clubs.
How was that?¬† That was brilliant.¬† That was very impressive, that.¬† It's only a matter of time before ladies are members of others‑‑ (Inaudible.)

Q.¬† If on Sunday night, a three‑Major winner wins in America in a field with 23 of 25 ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ the day before the wild cards are picked, how would you feel if he isn't picked?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  It would certainly help his cause, wouldn't it.  It's a very difficult thing.  He's leading right now and I'm anxious to watch how he gets on tonight myself.  It's very, very interesting to see what the captain does this particular year, if that scenario happens.  And that scenario happens, all credit to him and all credit to Garcia for winning the week before, as well.  I think they have done brilliantly and they are showing form at the very, very right time.
You know, I picked Harrington, and people talk about Ryder Cup records; it's a very, very difficult position to be in to be selected for a team.  I was picked once, and you almost have to try extra hard.  You have to prove to the rest of them that you deserve to be there.
It's very difficult to be selected, to be a captain's pick.¬† I wouldn't say it's a slight on anybody, but it's up to Olaz√°bal to see how the team is configured and how potential pairings and potential match‑ups within that.
But it would give Olazábal more of a headache than he has right now, and a good headache, if Harrington wins, and I wish him well.  Because to beat that field, which is the strongest that there is really, as you say, you know, 23 of the last 25 major champions are something are playing there; it's amazing.
I think you would expect something to happen there.  I don't know what Olazábal said about that.  It would definitely put him in the brain more so than he is now.

Q.  (Inaudible.).
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Well, all he can only do is one win tournament at a time.  The timing is very good, excellent timing.  I wish him well as a friend of mine.  He's a friend of mine and I wish him well over the weekend.  I don't know what he's doing at Bethpage; 64 around there is very, very good.  Colsaerts is very good, too.  So is Ian Poulter.

Q.  Are you still a member of Royal Troon?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Yes, an honorary of Royal Troon.

Q.¬† I know you can't speak about the R&A's position, but how would you stand on Royal Troon‑‑
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  They have a ladies club that my mother was a very, very proud member of.  So it's slightly different.

Q.  Ought there to be an option for the R&A?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† To open a new club‑‑ (Inaudible.) Forgive me, I'm a very proud member of Royal Troon and my Mum was a member of the ladies club at Troon, and that seems to cover the scenario that you're talking about.¬† But you know, as I say again, I'm sure that in time, that this scenario will not be spoke between and there will be lady members at every golf tournament.

Q.  You're probably drying out now.  Two years ago on this weekend, how much did you confer with your vice captains over your picks?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† A lot.¬† I conferred with the vice captains a lot.¬† I think it was more of a team‑‑ I had a very strong backroom team and there's no point in not having a very strong backroom team and not use them.¬† I used them a lot.¬† We conferred on a number of situations and a number of ways on trying to get to 14 1/2 points.
We spent the whole day in the PGA, Scottish PGA headquarters here at Gleneagles all afternoon watching how Edoardo Molinari was doing and what was happening in America; what Paul Casey was doing; what Harrington was doing; what Luke Donald was doing.
I am so glad that The European Tour decided to make the announcement in the morning.  It's an extra day away from home, I understand that, but it's much better for The European Team to allow the position to fill itself.  It allows Harrington the opportunity of winning before the team is picked.  Before, he had only played three rounds, and it's a big difference between three and four on a pick.
If Edoardo Molinari had played three rounds here last year, he probably wouldn't have been selected.  He played four and got selected.  So it's very difficult to have this selection on Sunday night and I think that's the right decision that we have made, to make it easier for the captain in the future, to do it Monday morning; to allow the tournaments around the world, that were going to finish, finish.  I think it's only right.

Q.¬† Caught in the rain‑‑ do you think we'll win in Medinah and can you just talk a little about the American side, as well?¬† We have got a rough idea of what our team is going to be.¬† Do you think we'll win?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† Do I think we'll win?¬† I hope we'll win.¬† That could be very, very close.¬† I can't say, do I think we'll win‑‑ it's that close, actually.¬† Both teams have strengths and depth, as well, now, and we have a 12 now that can compete.
There will be points coming from everywhere, on both teams.  The American Team is strong, and the big advantage the American Team have is that they are playing at home.
Don't ever forget that there's a massive, massive advantage to play in your own backyard.¬† Chicago is a big‑‑ the third‑largest city in America, big sports city and they will come out and support.¬† Don't forget that America want it back, either.¬† They want it back.¬† They keep winning The Presidents Cup but can't seem to get this Ryder Cup thing right.¬† They have got a good backroom team with Freddie Couples and Davis, and they have got a good team, as well.
It will be very difficult to go over there and win, make no mistake about that.  But I think if we can play to our potential and all 12 play to their potential, we can win, yes, which would be a fantastic achievement to go over to America and win in America is always a fabulous achievement.

Q.  Do you think you know who the fourth vice captain is, and do you think it will be a Spaniard?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† What, with funny hair?¬† Possibly.¬† I think he was allowing‑‑ Olaz√°bal is doing the right thing in allowing Miguel to play his way in possibly and if that's not going to happen, he had a poor day yesterday, I believe, and I think you'll find an announcement like that‑‑ I have no idea.¬† I have not spoken to Olaz√°bal once about The Ryder Cup, not once.
So I don't know.  But you would envisage that, yes, Miguel would be helping him out, yes.

Q.¬† He was a help in Wales at Celtic Manor‑‑
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Very much so, he was great as a team player, and I'm sure he will be great in the team room as a vice captain, as he was many, many years ago with Seve; in'97 he was selected as vice captain to Seve in Spain.  That would be a right choice.  And again, he would have a very, very strong backroom team, and that's what's required, yeah.
The days of selecting people because they are your friends, gone.  This is very, very important; financially for the Tour, and very important for our players on our Tour and for our Members to win The Ryder Cup and keep The Ryder Cup.  It's important to have as much support from everyone as possible.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  Colin, many thanks, as always.

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