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May 23, 2014

Colin Montgomerie


COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  We'll do this very quickly because Bernhard Langer, who is leading the Charles Schwab thing, and Tom Watson, legend, coming in second, so.
KELLY ELBIN:  You're a Hall of Famer.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  World Golf Hall of Fame and equal with them, it's fantastic, isn't it?
KELLY ELBIN:  Absolutely.  So was your round.  An eagle at 15.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  An eagle at 15.  Could we talk about that and go home?
Driver, 8‑iron, 173 to the pin.  8‑iron.  Bloody good shot.  To about 10 foot.  Actually, I holed it too.  That's how I got a three.  Amazing.  Fantastic.
KELLY ELBIN:  You're 4‑under through two rounds.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  4‑under through two rounds.
KELLY ELBIN:  All three of you at 4‑under.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  We are.  We are.  That means, that means that one or two of us could be playing together again.  Which will be exciting.
KELLY ELBIN:  Did you have a lot of fun out there playing with those guys?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  We did.  We all knew that we were all playing well.  Tom had a great finish last week in the Regions Tradition Major and Langer's always there, so I felt that if I was equal or around them after two days, I would be quite happy.  I was and I am and it gives me an opportunity to go forward at the weekend.
I haven't putted well, to be honest, over the first two day, I missed a number of makeable putts that haven't started on line, which has been disappointing.
So I'll be working on the putting this afternoon and if I can hit the fairways again and use my strength, which is my iron play, then we have an opportunity.
KELLY ELBIN:  Terrific.  If you would go over the other birdies in terms of irons hit in and length of putts, please.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  It was strange today, because that proves my irons are still good, but I didn't birdie a par‑4 or par‑3, which is most unlike me.
So the two par‑5s on the front nine I managed to birdie with just wedges in.  I managed to birdie them from four foot and 10 foot.
Then I managed to throw it in the hazard off the tee at 14, which was a disaster.  Made a very good five at the 14th.
Then my eagle helped things.
Then I managed to bogey the 17th, which was disappointing.  I hit a bad 7‑iron to the right and again came out okay and then missed the putt.  So all in all, okay, nothing to shout home about, but okay.
KELLY ELBIN:  Very good.  Open it up for questions.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  See, I told you, legend, Ryder Cup Captain.

Q.  You were a Ryder Cup captain.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Yeah, I was.  But that was a while back.

Q.  Did you ever win a point?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Yeah, I occasionally.  I got lucky.  You Americans didn't obviously play as well as you can against me.  And I managed to scrape home a couple of times.

Q.  How is it when the other guys in your group are playing well in terms of helping you play well?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  I think we all feed off each other.  I think that's happened a number of times.  And also it can happen also in a negative way, whereby, if you get a couple that aren't doing well, you tend to follow suit.
So it was good that all three of us were playing well, we all putted reasonable, Tom Watson particularly putted extremely well over the first two days and kept him in there.  So, yeah, he's hitting the ball great.  64 years old.  It's amazing how he still is very competitive and extremely competitive.  Seeing him at very close quarters, closer than you guys sometimes do, believe me, he is extremely competitive and it's great to see.

Q.  I understand you're going to play in Chicago next month.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Yes, I am indeed, North Shore.

Q.  Talk about that decision, how important is Chicago to you?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Well, a number of, I mean, I'm a member of the Champions Tour now, I never ever actually joined the PGA TOUR in my career of the.  I always was just a member of the European Tour and came over here haphazardly for the Majors and odd TPC and Bay Hill and what have you.  So that's on the schedule.
It's before the next Major, which is Pittsburgh, so I'm over here for about six weeks on this next trip.  I go home from here on Sunday night and back to Scotland and come back again for that.  So I look forward to it.  Very much so.

Q.  Have you played there?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  I haven't played there at all.  No, I never played on that North Shore, but I hear it's lovely and Mike Gillespie runs a great show, the tournament director.  He used to be with Callaway, when I was with them, he was the head of TOUR operations when I was with Callaway with Ely Callaway and with Dick, so I know Mike very well, so I look forward to playing in his tournament.

Q.  Just wondering, regarding the course itself, are there holes, at this point, that you're finding one to be the most challenging and perhaps the easiest?  Can you give us an idea?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Obviously, the easiest is the 15th.  It's simple really.  It's only a three shots, a par‑3.
The hardest, I think a good hole is 14 out here.  The one previous.  I think you it's a very good hole.
But there's a number of good holes, a number of great designed holes tee to green here.  I think everyone is saying and they're all a bit sort of diplomatic in what they say about it because it's Jack Nicklaus and, but, really, the greens are, can I be as diplomatic as possible and say they're complicated?
KELLY ELBIN:  You just did.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  I did.  They're complicated.  They're the most complex green designs that I have ever, ever seen.  I know what Jack Nicklaus is saying about trying to protect the scoring now days with technology as it is, but the scoring has to be protected by the ups and downs of the greens, because it's the one club in the bag that hasn't changed.  The rest of it has for technology's sake.  We're still using a Ping Anser putter which is 50 years old this year, so I can understand, but some are extremely complicated.  God, that's good, isn't it?
KELLY ELBIN:  Very good.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  That's fantastic.  That's as diplomatic as I've ever been.

Q.  Was there any Ryder Cup chatter today among the three of you?
TOM WATSON:  What are you talking about?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Here he is.  Tom Watson.  Well, we have all captained the Ryder Cup team and we have all won it, you know.  Tom started us off in '93 and obviously we wish him well this time around.
Bernhard won in 2004, and I did ‑‑ well I'm trying to be diplomatic.  I used your term, "complicated," I did, which was great.  And no, there wasn't much chatter at all, no.  We're all here to try and win the U.S. Senior PGA Championship and that chat's for afterwards, really.  But, no, I do wish Tom all the best and it will be great event and we wish both teams well.

Q.  Tom may have messed up my second question, which was, just going to ask your thoughts on him captaining this U.S. Ryder Cup team and what do you think?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  What, you mean with him standing behind you, you mean?

Q.  Yeah.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE:  Well obviously he's the best.  He's the ‑‑ he's the best that's ever lived.
(Laughter.)  He's a wonderful guy and a super father, husband, whatever, you know, I think he's just a fantastic, handsome fellow, too.  Anything else you want to throw out?  When he leaves I can tell you the truth.
(Laughter.)  But since he's in the room, it's quite difficult.
I think he'll be a great captain.  I do.  I think the PGA of America have played a wild card here and I think that they have done exactly the right thing in bringing back the last captain that won 21 years ago now in Europe and I think that they have done exactly the right thing.  It's game on.  I wish him well.
KELLY ELBIN:  Ever diplomatic, Colin Montgomerie, 4‑under par.

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