July 11, 2013
Flash interview with:
MODERATOR: 1 under par, 69 today, Colin Montgomerie.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Camera's rolling.
Q. Maybe summarize your day.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: What do you want to know? This is the best part of the day.
Q. Better than walking those hills, right?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I'm just thrilled that I don't have any more bloody hills to climb for one more day, and I've got three more days. I was told that Nebraska was flat. They lied before I came here. They did. They lied.
I didn't play very well today. To be honest, tee to Green, I didn't play very well. I putted very well today. I had 26 putts, I think, which is good.
But it was good to play with Tom Watson and Bernhard Langer. Super to play out with them and watch them go around their business, but I didn't play that well today. I didn't drive the ball particularly well. So I'm going over there right now to try and iron that out. And if I can drive the ball well over the next three days, you know, we'll hopefully contend.
But I've got to drive the ball better than I did today.
Q. Was there some encouragement with the 69, not hitting the ball well tee to green?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very much so, very much encouragement. Encouraged by the fact that you can score 69 and play indifferently tee to green. So when I get that ironed out, because that's usually my strength, to be honest. So when I get that ironed out, then I'll have 40 putts.
So really, that's it, isn't it? It's a bloody silly game at the best of times, isn't it? But it's great.
Q. What did you learn about the golf course today?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I learned that it's not far short of not far short of a U.S. Open setup, the ones that I have played over the years. And a very demanding test, tee to green. It takes a demanding test off the tee, demanding second shots off the greens, and demanding around the greens. So it's a full test of golf that U.S. Opens have always been.
And the standard of golf, I've found over here, is very, very high. Very high. I realized that at Fox Chapel, my first event. This is my second event, and I'm realizing that the standard is extremely, extremely high. And I look forward to that challenge. It makes if I happen to do well in an event, it makes it ever more pleasing.
Q. [ No microphone ].
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Made a birdie at 7, just a good straight 6 iron. I can do that. It's the rest of it that's a struggle, and it went about two foot, and I could usually get them in. So that was another single putt.
Some good holes out there. You know, the 10th to start off with this morning, I holed a good eight footer for a 5 to avoid a double bogey to start the tournament off with. So some good holes. 10 and No. 8 there are particularly difficult holes.
So it's a demanding test. The breeze is, we're thankful for it in many ways because it's very warm. But it's to get warmer, I hear. So it's great. Delighted to be here.
Q. You seem to be in good spirits. Do you need something like that, the tough test you're talkingabout?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think so. If you go out there thinking that, you know, because it's not just a mental test, it's a physical test as well. And they've forgot that we're over 50. I think they forgot. They've got this backwards. I think the U.S. Open at Merion was much flatter than this. They got it backwards. We should be playing at Merion.
Q. Colin, your familiarity with your playing partners, did that
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Very much so.
Q. Did that lead to much chit chat, or not much?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: It's amazing, isn't it? You chitchat prior to the round and after the round. It's amazing out on the course how competitive it really is. Very much so.
That's the amount of chitchat today we had during I hate to say our heydays, back in Tom Watson's '80s and '90s and my '90s with Langer. It's amazing. There's not much "How's the family." It's game on, you know. Very competitive. Very competitive.
Q. Colin, you think Watson at 64 years old is driving well out there?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Amazing. Good luck to him. Fantastic effort. Good home support for him. I think he's quite close. I think Kansas is the next state down. Flatter, I believe, in Kansas. So we should have played there.
But at the same time, yeah, I mean, you know, fantastic. One bogey, one birdie today. Good golf. 16 pars for nearly 64 years old.
And he's got a lot of golf ahead of him. He's playing Muirfield next week and then coming over for a PGA Tour event. If he can play the way he does, tee to green, the way that he's doing right now, very safe. Muirfield, we've got decent weather at home right now. Muirfield and Birkdale will be faster running. He has every chance to do well again, as he did at Turnberry in 2009. No, he's a great competitor and remains that way.
Q. It sounds like you're just a wee bit surprised at how competitive things are on the Champions Tour.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think most people are when they come out here. I think most people are, and I'm no different from that. I think I speak for everybody coming out here thinking that this is the back end of one's career, whatever. It's not. This is the start of a brand new career, and a big one, yeah.
So no, game on. And that's what I was hoping to feel and hoping to find out here. And I've found it, yeah.
Q. Were your nerves any different today than, say, a regular U.S. Open?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Just the same. I mean, you get nervous. I think nerves are good for somebody. You want to get slightly uptight and slightly nervous. Yeah, very much so. Yeah, felt the same as I do in any event that I've played in.
Q. Thank you.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Thank you very much.
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