Recapturing the Ryder Cup for Team Europe was the goal of captain Colin Montgomerie. Now achieved, and with the gold cup safely tucked away, he reflects on his experience and his personal goals for the future.
Colin Montgomerie has fashioned a career in golf that would make anyone envious. Winner of eight Order of Merit titles on the European Tour, including seven in a row from 1993 to 1999, he is also considered one of the greatest Ryder Cup players of all time, having never lost a singles match and compiling an overall record of 20-9-7.
But for all of the great accomplishments during his career, including leading this year’s European Ryder Cup team to victory over the U.S., Montgomerie has also earned the dubious distinction of being one of the most accomplished players never to have won a major championship.
His game has also suffered mightily over the last two seasons, having slipped out of the top 400 in world rankings. While Montgomerie may admit that his focus over the last several months was on the Ryder Cup captaincy, he also admits that he needs to start a strict workout regimen, including lifting weights, in order to gain more distance off the tee.
Playing his first tournament in more than a month, Montgomerie carded an even-par 72 in the first round of the Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday. Playing with Ryder Cup member Martin Kaymer, Montgomerie was consistently outdriven by 40 yards all day long.
“I need to find 40 yards. Martin’s long, but if that’s the competition, I need to find 20-30 yards. I’ve got to find that to compete,” said Montgomerie.
“Technology is one way, but I’m using the highest technology affordable so I’m not sure. Drugs? That’s what you want me to say! Into the gym and lift those weights I have never lifted to make the 30 yards I need to match Martin and the rest.”
Montgomerie’s goal is to actually be a playing member of the European Ryder Cup team again.
“It will be tough and it is a goal to be in the European team in two years’ time as a player. Ray Floyd played in a Ryder Cup at 51 so I’ll be setting no records there.
“But it is clear to me that my best time, in 1997-1998 when I was the No 1 in Europe, just wouldn’t be good enough in today’s game, I’ll have to be better than that.”
So, off to the gym Monty will go. And based on his competitive nature, fans won’t be surprised at all if he is teeing it up once again for the home team come 2012.
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UPDATE: http://the19thholereport.com/european-ryder-cup-captain-colin-montgomerie-now-focuses-on-self/174205/ Oct 8 2010