Find out Colin’s latest news from on and off the course.
Lunch with a Legend: Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie’s professional career has spanned continents and generations – from heroic shots in Dubai and in the Ryder Cup, to memories of playing with Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods. He won a record eight Order of Merit titles on the European Tour and compiled a 20-9-7 record in eight Ryder Cups, and he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013.
Since joining PGA TOUR Champions in 2013, Montgomerie has tallied seven wins, including three majors and one victory in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs.
On March 25, Montgomerie was in London and joined PGA TOUR Champions for the Tour’s first “Lunch with a Legend” interview on Instagram Live.
Answers have been edited for clarity and length.
What’s more nerve wracking: playing or captaining in a Ryder Cup?
Captaining by tenfold. At least I have some sort of control as I was playing; I only had to play one guy or two guys with a partner. I only realized how difficult it was as a captain when you’d send out your team on the first tee and you’d pray that they’d come back with something four, four and a half hours later. You have no control, and I think that’s the nervey part about it. That’s why I’m so gray right now. Playing was easy, I had 11 great teammates all the time around me, but captaining was more stressful.
What’s the best pressure putt or best pressure shot that you’ve ever hit?
I suppose I’ve got one plaque in the world and I’m proud of it. It’s in Dubai and it was at the Dubai Desert Classic in 1996. I was one ahead of Miguel Angel Jiménez playing the 72nd hole. He outdrove me and he drew out his 3-wood, which was a huge error because it was a match play situation and he showed me his cards.
I said to Alistair, my caddie, and he’s still with me to this day, and I said “Ok, put the 6-iron away we’ve got to go for this.” The only club that I had in the bag to make the carry was a driver, so he said, “Well ok, just make good contact.” And as long as I made good contact, I was ok, but it was the most pressurized shot because if it had gone wrong, I would have lost the event. So, at the time and still to this day, it was 24 years ago now, that shot remains with me and will forever.
Who’s the best driver of the golf ball you’ve ever seen?
Greg Norman, easily. Two guys lost their greatest asset with technology. Greg Norman was the greatest driver of the golf ball there’s ever been, and to this day still is. McIlroy is good, don’t get me wrong, but Norman was a better driver of the golf ball than Rory McIlroy, with a wooden club. Suddenly when the metal clubs and the titanium clubs and all the easier-to-hit stuff came in, we all could do what Greg Norman did; we caught up with him.
And another person I’d say the same to was Seve Ballesteros. He was a magician with a 56-degree wedge, he could do anything with it. But when PING developed the lob wedge, we all could do what Seve did, or we could think we could. So, he lost his greatest asset and Greg Norman, too. A pity in many ways that they did because they were well ahead of the game.
Who’s the best putter you’ve ever seen?
Tiger is the best putter I played against. You somehow felt that you knew it was going to go in, the crowd knew it was going to go in, but more importantly so did he. I think Jordan Spieth got quite close in that run he had. I haven’t played with Jordan in a competitive round, but I have with Tiger many times. And many times he looked as if he was going to hole that putt. And you felt 1-down somehow because he was that good on the putting surfaces. It’s half the game and when you think about it, if he’s that good at half the game, the rest of it can be average. If Tiger putted well, he usually won.
What is your favorite way to celebrate a win?
What was my last win? It was the Invesco QQQ Championship at Sherwood. Well it was late because it was a playoff. Sarah Casey, my partner, was with me and we drove because the next tournament was the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix, and I hate to say it, I’m going to be honest. We stopped at a Wendy’s on the way, so that was the celebration I’m afraid. It was one of those things, we had to get to Phoenix, the practice round was due the next day.
It’s funny celebrating wins, you don’t always have that time. You’re on this conveyer belt and you’ve got to get to where you’re going as opposed to just taking time and smelling flowers along the way. And I wish I had done that a little more along my career, but that’s what we had to do, we had to get there.
It’s normally with family and friends, and you do hope you’re not on your own when you win. I was alone when I won the Mastercard Japan Championship that first year, and I just ordered six beers to the room and then we flew home the next day. Disappointing in many ways (laughs).
Why golf? Who inspired you to pick up the clubs?
It’s a very easy answer there. My father was, and still is, a keen amateur golfer; I think his best handicap was a 4 or 5. We were very lucky to live on the coast in Troon where there’s 10 courses within four or five miles. And everybody in Scotland has the opportunity to play the game of golf. We have more courses in Scotland per capita than anywhere else in the world, so therefore opportunity is available.
My brother and I and our late mother, we all started the game at the same time. I was 6 in 1969 and I was found to have a certain talent I suppose, and it was taken forward. But opportunity is everything, and I think Scotland gives every child more opportunity than any other child in the world to play the game of golf.
Who is in your dream foursome?
Not possible anymore, but dream foursome would be mother, father and brother. Not possible because we lost mom 30 years ago now, but we always used to have some quite good games. We were all off single figures at one stage, which as a family isn’t bad. Mom was 9, my brother was about a 6, my dad was 5 and I was a little bit lower. I always played with mom and we used to have some quite good games. It’s a four-ball I’d love to bring back, but obviously not possible.
What do you see yourself doing post golf career?
Buying a couple golden Labradors and calling them Chip and Putt, and buying a place at St. Andrews and going on a walk at West Sands Beach.
How many more years do you plan on playing PGA TOUR Champions?
We’re often asked that and it goes back to my good friend Bernhard Langer. He’s 62 now and he’s still winning. As long as I can say that my best performance on PGA TOUR Champions would be a win, I’ll still compete. If the best I can do, and I have to be honest with myself here, is say 10th or 15th place, well, catch me at St. Andrews beach.
The best I can do, I really feel that if I can play well and hole out well, I can still win. So therefore I keep going and I’ll keep going until it’s time where I say to myself, “Yeah, I’m not competing,” and it’s time to give up the hotels and the planes and back and forth across the Atlantic and it’s time to just relax for once in my life.
April 01, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
Montgomerie wins Invesco QQQ Championship
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Colin Montgomerie won the Invesco QQQ Championship on Sunday with a par on the first hole of a playoff after fellow Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer took four strokes to get out of a greenside bunker.
With Langer finally on the par-4 18th green in six shots, Montgomerie two-putted for the victory, with the 56-year-old Scot tapping in from 2 feet to end the second of three events in the PGA TOUR Champions’ Charles Schwab Cup playoffs.
“How often does that happen with Bernhard?” Montgomerie said. “I felt for him in that bunker there. It was on the upslope there. The downslope was awful. Look how deep that is. It’s big hole. Unfortunate for Bernhard.”
Playing five groups ahead of Langer, Montgomerie made a 40-foot birdie putt in regulation on 18 for a tournament-record 9-under 63.
“The one at the last was a massive bonus,” said Montgomerie, five strokes back at the start of the day.
Langer parred the final four holes for a 67, leaving a 15-foot birdie try short on 18. They finished at 15-under 202.
Both players found the narrow fairway in the playoff, with Langer leaving himself 191 yards to the hole — about 35 more than he had in regulation. His approach caught the left greenside bunker, leaving an awkward stance with the back lip of the bunker hindering his swing.
“It was a downhill lie with a big lip in front,” Langer said. “It’s hell down there. You just can’t go down there. That bunker’s built very poorly. …. Just faded to the right. I was overaggressive. I was trying to make birdie and just pushed it about 5 yards.”
Montgomerie then hit his 174-yard approach to the middle of the green, leaving about 20 feet.
Montgomerie won for the seventh time on the 50-and-over tour.
The 62-year-old Langer has 40 senior victories, winning a playoff at Sherwood in 2017.
“It’s been a good week, played some good golf, played good at Richmond, played good here, so that’s encouraging,” Langer said. “Finished fourth and second last two tournaments, so looking forward to next week. That’s all you can do. Playoff, I made one bad shot and paid the price. That was the worst place you could hit it. Anywhere left I have a shot down there.”
Montgomerie birdied four of the first five holes, chipped in for birdie on No. 10 and eagle on No. 11 and also birdied the 16th.
“Eleven was key,” Montgomerie said. “Ten, when I chipped in at 10 was a very good chip, but kept me going. Eleven, hang on, I’m suddenly leading. From third, fourth, suddenly boom, I’m leading now. So, there’s a whole different feeling.”
Retief Goosen and Tommy Tolles were a stroke back.
Goosen, the second-round leader, shot a 69. He missed a 12-foot birdie try on 18.
“I didn’t play that well today,” Goosen said. “Putter was a bit cold, made a few bad mistakes.”
Tolles closed with a 66.
The top 36 in the season standings advanced to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week in Phoenix. Points leader Scott McCarron closed with a 77 to tie for 43rd at even par. Second-place Jerry Kelly shot 66 to tie for 10th at 8 under.
Montgomerie jumped from 12th to fourth, and Langer from fourth to third.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, the winner two weeks ago in the playoff opener in Virginia, closed with a 69 to tie for fifth at 11 under with Billy Andrade (64) and Ken Tanigawa (65).
Fred Couples, a stroke behind Goosen entering the round, had a 72 to tie for eighth at 9 under. The 60-year-old Couples won the last of his 13 PGA TOUR Champions titles in 2017.
November 03, 2019
By Associated Press
Montgomerie leads winners at World Golf Awards
Golfing icon, Colin Montgomerie, has scooped top honours at the World Golf Awards.
The Ryder Cup-legend was named Golf Course Designer of the Year at the golf tourism industry’s event of the year in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
He was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to golf.
Hosted in the Middle East for the first time, the sixth annual World Golf Awards proved a truly global gathering of the golf tourism industry, with pioneers, influencers and leading figureheads from across the world in attendance.
The prize-giving ceremony at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi marked the climax of a three-day itinerary that included golf at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
The rapidly-growing golf market of Vietnam was unveiled as one of the big winners, collecting trophies for both Asia’s Best Golf Destination and World’s Best Golf Destination.
Meanwhile, the rich history of Scotland’s Carnoustie Golf Links – Championship Course was acknowledged with awards for Europe’s Best Golf Course and World’s Best Golf Course.
Chris Frost, managing director, World Golf Awards, said: “Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi has proven a world-class host on what has been a magnificent evening of triumph for the golf tourism industry.
“We have had the privilege of recognising the leading golf courses, hotels, resorts, designers and tour operators from across the world and my congratulations to each of them.”
The ceremony also saw World Golf Awards welcome Golf Saudi as presenting partner.
With Saudi Arabia quickly establishing itself as one of the world’s most dynamic new golf markets, the new partnership highlights the ambition of the Kingdom to become an international golf destination.
Majed Al-Sorour, chief executive, Golf Saudi, said: “World Golf Awards is one of the game’s pre-eminent accolades and represents core values that align closely with our vision at Golf Saudi – excellence, global connectivity and dedication.
“As Saudi Arabia’s golf development programme gains momentum, greater integration with the global golf community is allowing us to build relations and develop pioneering initiatives that will determine how we build the game in the Kingdom.”
For more information about the World Golf Awards, visit the official website, or for a full list of winners click here.
World Golf Awards
World Golf Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world-class courses and golf destinations.
The World Golf Awards focused on the leading 130-nations that are shaping the future of this dynamic industry.
Launched in 2014, World Golf Awards aims to drive up standards within the golf tourism industry by rewarding the organizations that are leaders in their field.
International golfing legend Colin Montgomerie is responsible for the magnificent design of the 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course at the Royal Golf Club. The course hosted the European Tour’s inaugural Volvo Golf Champions tournament in January 2011 and more recently the maiden Bahrain Invitational in April 2012 which saw Monty and three other top tour golfers, Paul Casey, Thomas Bjorn and Suzann Pettersen, compete alongside international sporting celebrities tennis player Tim Henman, American footballer Joe Montana and footballers Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli.
Colin Montgomerie validating his career on PGA TOUR Champions
August 23, 2019
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
Colin Montgomerie’s 2019 season in some ways has been a microcosm of his career in the United States prior to turning 50 and joining PGA TOUR Champions.
He has been exceptional this year. He has six top 10s. He has finished in the top 25 in all 15 events in which he started and finished (he has two WDs, for which he put the blame on an ankle injury that gets aggravated from time to time). He’s coming off a season-best T4 at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open in New York.
Montgomerie just hasn’t won.
That was the knock on him during his prime. The Scotsman won 31 times on the European PGA TOUR, which ranks fourth all time (behind Seven Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Tiger Woods). He won the European Order of Merit a record eight times, including seven in a row. He was a dominant Ryder Cup player, maybe the greatest of all time. He played in eight cups and never lost a singles match with an overall record of 20-9-7.
But for whatever reason, Montgomerie never won a PGA TOUR event on American soil. He had five runner-up finishes in majors, including three at the U.S. Open.
That’s why PGA TOUR Champions has been such a blessing to him. And he’s happy to say it. He has won six times, including three majors. Yes, it has validated his career. Yes, the majors meant a lot. And yes, he’s having the best time here, compared to being the subject of vitriol from American fans during his Ryder Cup heyday.
“I very much so feel accepted,” Montgomerie said Thursday. “It’s a night and day contrast, to be honest. I think when things happened it was round the time that the Nick Faldos of this world and Bernhard Langer to an extent, and Seve, they weren’t on the tops of their games and I was coming through and I was the guy to beat, especially when the words Ryder Cup were mentioned. That stoked the fire a wee bit.
“The Champions Tour I’m less of a threat. The threat angle is gone. So we’re all in the same boat. We all respect each other, the crowds respect us for what we’ve achieved in the past and also the present. It’s a very celebrative place to play, to be honest. I think it’s super. I was once told by my good friend Sam Torrance that it was the best tour in the world, and he’s dead right. Yes, when the gun goes off and the competition goes you know it’s game on. But surrounding all of that it’s a lot more jovial, happy, relaxed feel than any of the PGA TOURS that I’ve played on. It’s a big family out here. We’re very close, and I think the crowds see that and respect that. There’s more respect from the crowd more than anything. It’s a very, very good tour to play on. And I’m really enjoying it.”
With his high finish at the DICK’S, Montgomerie has worked his way up to 17th in the Schwab Cup standings. He’s giving most of the credit for his stellar play this year to his play off the tee. Long one of his strong suits, Montgomerie ranks third in driving accuracy at nearly 79%. He’s also 15th in greens in regulation.
“I’ve always been able to hit the fairway,” Montgomerie said. “That’s the golden rule in my game. If I hit the fairway … my skill in golf for years has been my iron play. Only reason for that is because I hit the fairway. That’s why, then you hit the greens, then you take your chances and that’s how I played the game. It always started with the first shot and htting the fairway. These days it doesn’t really matter where they hit the ball as long as they have wedge in their hands in the second shot. I’d rather put more emmphais back in the first shot, the driver or whatever it is, to hit the fairway.
“There’s more of it (emphasis on driving accuracy) on the Champions Tour than the PGA TOUR. And I would like to think deeper about courses getting longer and longer and longer. That’s nothing to guys now. A 550-yard par 4 is nothing. They just hit it 350 and have 200 left and hit a 6-iron.”
Montgomerie packed his six PGA TOUR Champions victories into his first four seasons out here. He’s 56 now, and he hasn’t won since the 2017 JAPAN AIRLINES Championship. But given the state of his game, he remains a threat to win anytime.
He is as fit as he maybe has ever been. He has seen his old pal Langer and rivals such as Fred Couples and Jay Haas extend their careers.
“It used to be everyone thought of this as a five-year career,” Montgomerie said. “Now I’m thinking 10, maybe even 15 years, which is fabulous.”
He also said he isn’t satisfied with just posting top 10s and top 25s.
“I’m looking forward to playing the best I have this year in the next couple of events,” Montgomerie said. “I’m looking forward to the Boeing Classic and the Shaw Charity Classic. I’d like to think I can contend in one of those two. And who knows, maybe get lucky.”
MAGIC MONTGOMERIE WINS IN DENMARK
Colin Montgomerie claimed his ninth win on the Staysure Tour after a scintillating final round at the Shipco Masters promoted by Simon’s Golf Club.
The Ryder Cup legend, who had not won on the Staysure Tour since 2015, came from four shots behind as he fired a five under par round of 67 to take victory at Simon’s Golf Club ahead of English duo Paul Eales and Barry Lane, who both finished on eight under par.
Montgomerie’s 1993 Ryder Cup teammate and overnight leader Peter Baker carded a three over par round of 75, while the Scotsman seized the opportunity to add the inaugural Shipco Masters promoted by Simon’s Golf Club to his impressive CV, after he recorded an eagle and five birdies and dropped just two shots on his way to victory.
A second round of 67 saw the 31-time European Tour winner move into prime striking position before his final round, and got off to a perfect start with a birdie on the first.
The day turned in Montgomerie’s favour when he eagled the seventh hole with a two-foot putt to lead in Kvistgård. A dropped shot on the ninth hole brought him within reach of the chasing pack but three birdies on the final nine holes, including a final gain on the 17th, saw the Scottish star secure his first victory on European soil since the 2015 Travis Perkins Masters.
“It feels superb, absolutely superb. It means as much as any of the wins on the European Tour or wherever it might be, this is superb, it really is,” he said. “There were 60 guys starting and you’ve ended up at the top of the pack – the self-esteem goes through the roof when you win. It has given me a lot of confidence to go forward now for the rest of the year.
“I needed something in the mid-60s – I knew that. I played for a five at the last knowing I was three ahead. Anytime you score 67 it can’t be that bad, you can’t be playing on the Tour badly, so two 67s was good. I needed that after a disappointing first round 71.
“I knew I had to get out of the blocks early. I had to put pressure on Peter Baker and Barry Lane – known winners. I had to put pressure on them early on and I managed to do that and then sustained it.
“The eagle at the seventh was the key shot of the round. A good driver and then a five iron down wind to about two foot and that propelled me from about third or fourth to leading. That changed things and I thought lets just try and play around this course and do things properly and I was three under from then on, so that was good golf.”
Fellow victorious Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley and South Africa’s James Kingston carded final rounds of five under par to join Baker in a share of fourth place.
1991 Masters Champion Ian Woosnam recorded a blemish-free round of five under par to move to tied seventh. While Dame Laura Davies, who made history as she became the first female to compete in a Staysure Tour event, finished a commendable tied 44th.
Montgomerie’s victory maintains his position in second place on the Staysure Tour Order of Merit after he moved to second last week with a tied sixth finish at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Read more at European Tour