PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS INSIDER
Colin Montgomerie determined to succeed at home major
July 22, 2021
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- July 22, 2021
- Colin Montgomerie looks to win his first R&A event in his career at the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.(Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Colin Montgomerie hasn’t won on PGA TOUR Champions since the 2019 Invesco QQQ Championship.
He never has won an R&A event, which doesn’t even sound possible.
At 58 now, he almost assuredly will never have a better chance than he does this week, at the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex. The event, which was postponed in 2020, will be contested at Sunningdale Golf Club, Montgomerie’s home course. With his son, Cameron, on the bag, he will take on an inland links course that no one knows better than he does.
“I talked to Tim Petrovic and a few of the Americans and Jerry Kelly and guys that haven't been to Sunningdale before and a few of them have played Pine Valley, which was ranked No. 1 in the world and they have for 20 years, and they compare it to that,” Montgomerie said. “So you ask how everyone is feeling about the course, that's the biggest compliment that anyone can make to a course is to compare it to No. 1. It's superb. It's in better condition than it was for The Open qualifying or European Open we've played here in the past. It's beginning to get a little bit fiery now which is perfect. I think that's what they want and it's all set for a fantastic weekend.
“Yeah, it's superb. Everyone loves it. And, hey, they should. This is … this is as good as it gets for inland courses.”
Montgomerie is a full-time member of PGA TOUR Champions and thus hasn’t competed across the pond very often in the past few years. And he’s keenly aware that he hasn’t won an R&A event.
“Having not won an R&A event, as such, second in The Open to (Tiger) Woods in 2005 and runner-up at the British Amateur to (Jose Maria) Olazábal, I picked real beauties there, didn't I, to come up against, but it would be great to win, obviously,” Montgomerie said. “We are all here to do that and we all know that if you do happen to win, you know, you get an invite to St Andrews next year, which would be a real celebration of golf, being the 150th Open. So that's on the radar as well for us all.
“So yeah, we're just looking forward to the whole thing, having moved here from -- we were in Windsor for a while and now I live in Sunningdale here now. So it's a definite home, a home tie, yeah.”
Montgomerie has three top 10s in this lengthy, coronavirus-interrupted, wraparound 2020-21 season, but only one of them has come in ’21. So maybe he’s not in top form. But he still ranks ninth in driving accuracy and 19th in putting average. If a player hits fairways and putts well in an Open Championship, he can find his way into contention.
Getting those competitive fires burning is why these guys keep playing. They want those butterflies they had in the heat of majors when they were younger. Montgomerie even said winning this week would rank among his biggest accomplishments.
“When I turned 50, I just wasn't ready (to stop playing),” Montgomerie said. “I thought I would be but I just wasn't ready to stop competing, and that ambition was still there. The drive was still there. The will to win was still there, and I didn't want to lose it.
“So I went out on the Champions Tour, and yeah, we had success. At 51 I won two majors and here we are. I've still got that fire and I've still got that ambition to win. If that goes, yes, I'll buy a couple Labradors and move to St Andrews and walk the dogs on West Sands Beach. But at the same time, until that happens, until I realize when that happens, I'll be playing out here. I love it. I love the competition. I love the whole scene of competitive golf, and so here we are at 58 and we're still going strong.”