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THE SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY ROLEX


July 25, 2013


Colin Montgomerie


SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND

Q.  How do you reflect on your day?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  It was difficult out there, it was.  The wind picked up this afternoon, definitely.  Any links course with wind is a test, especially this one, such a good driving course as this is.  You have to be careful and think on every tee; because it's a long par 4 doesn't mean it's a driver.  It's quite demanding off the tee.
But everything in front of you.  It's probably the best course on the Open rota.  It's a joy to play, it really is, and it's in great condition, superb condition, and the scoring, all credit.  I shot 72 there, and I was okay, nothing untoward, and finishing 38th.
So a lot to do over the next three days, but something to build on certainly.

Q.  You went out in level par, nine straight pars and make three bogeys in a row, what are you thinking and feeling?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† Silly bogeys, really.¬† 10, 11, should never have been bogeys, as you probably witnessed on the TV. ¬†Easy up‑and‑downs and didn't commit to the shots at all and made two bogeys.
The 12th hole is a difficult hole at the best of times, got a bad lie in the bunker and couldn't get up‑and‑down, and then I'm 3‑over par, this is game on.¬† Managed to get one birdie coming in, wasn't one of the par 5s, unfortunately.¬† 15 was playing most difficult.¬† 17 was more of a gift and I didn't take advantage of that but managed to birdie 16.
It's a good test of golf.  I didn't commit to the shots that I had to commit to out there today, and let's hope we can do better tomorrow.

Q.  Emotionally, how does it compare to playing in a regular major, which you've done throughout your career?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  You stand on the first tee, Ivor is there, it's the same feeling, the same standards we've at The Open here, and I remember playing three opens here, and emotionally, it's game on, definitely.  It feels like a Major Championship, it does.  It's super to be able to do that at 50 years old.  That's why we play golf as a professional; as a footballer, one, I'd be a bit slow; and two, I'd be finished 20 years ago.

Q.  Your verdict on the day?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  It's okay; safe.  You don't win it today obviously.  You can throw it away with a 77, which I didn't do, so I'm still in there, three bogeys in a row, 10,11, 12, was most disappointing around the turn, and from nine good pars on the front nine.  It was difficult out there this afternoon.  The wind sprung up and it's more difficult, 15, 16, most difficult, along with a number of other difficult crosswind that we've got to contend with.  At the same time, 72 is not a disaster.

Q.  And you take that as nine good pars, you say, that it's good to work your way out on a challenging course?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Oh, very much.  You've got to land the ball short.  You've got to think about the tee shots around here.  Very demanding off the tee, Royal Birkdale, very demanding and because it's a long par 4 doesn't necessarily mean it's a driver, and you've got to think.  Because of that, I was quite happy with nine straight pars on the front nine, knowing you've got two par 5s on the back nine that you don't on the front.
So I was quite happy really.  I just messed up 10,11, 12, which hopefully, I won't do tomorrow.

Q.¬† And essentially with the leader at 3‑under, it's nice and compressed and you're nicely in there?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† Well, I'm 2‑over, that's five behind.¬† Remember, not a week ago, did Phil Mickelson come from five behind with one round to go, so I've got three to do it, so I'm in prime position.

Q.  Was it good having Alastair on the bag?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  It's great, I'd love to do well and possibly if it ever comes around, to win a major, not just for me but Alastair as well.  We've been very, very close on a number of occasions and I just fell short on the last hole sometimes and in playoffs.  I would love to win for him subpoenas me.

Q.  How important was that birdie in the wind?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† Oh, very important at, at 16, hit a good 7‑iron in there, driver, 7‑iron.¬† It was demanding, not normally that short off the front of tee there, but that was tough.
10,11, 12, things were getting away, and I got a great up‑and‑down at 13 from a green‑side bunker to stop making four bogeys in a row.¬† But it is demanding out there.
There's some people that had gone higher than you would imagine there to be, and with the lead only 3‑under, with an early start hopefully I can get a good round under my belt tomorrow morning.

Q.  Did you feel nervous the first tee?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Yes, I felt like it was a Major Championship out there which is good for me and good for the tournament on the whole.

Q.¬† Coming up towards the end‑‑
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† That was the poorest putt I hit all day.¬† That was a poor putt; to miss that right, it was a left‑to‑right putt and I hit it about an inch outside the right lip.¬† So if it's left‑to‑right, it's probably not going to go in, and it didn't.

Q.¬† You seemed quite cautious at times, 13, you seemed all the way back‑‑
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:¬† I duffed it off the tee.¬† Completely miss‑hit it off the tee shot.¬† Therefore, I hit my drive 230, I had 275 left for my second shot.¬† And of course, it had to be the measuring hole.¬† So the score is Monty 225 and everyone else is 300.
10 is the way to play that hole, I feel.¬† I don't like hitting a driver off the 10th.¬† I hit a 5‑iron off the tee and left myself a 7‑iron in, and just ballooned on me a bit and came up short after taking a bad chip.
But I'll play that hole that way again, I'll hit a 5‑iron again.¬† That distance, Freddie can give it a rip still, believe me.¬† He's as long as anybody still.¬† Carried a hundred yards past me.

Q.  67 is a good round this afternoon?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  It is a good round.  Anything under 70, a round of 70 is a very good score, so 72 is not very far.  As I was saying to television, you know Mickelson came from five behind and won not a week ago, and I'm five behind with three rounds to go.
It's a great golf course, as a driving test that's no better.¬† You have to feed your way through bunkers.¬† Like the 10th hole, Freddie hit his 3‑wood, Mark hit his driver and I hit a 5‑iron.¬† There's ways that you feel that you can play the course to its best.¬† It doesn't mean because it's a par 4, it's a driver.¬† You've got to think your way around, and that's the beauty of this course:¬† You can take it on with risks, or you can play safe without, and I think it's a great driving course.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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