Colin Montgomerie hopes Troon tussle can grow golf

Colin Montgomerie speaks to the media ahead of the Senior open Championship presented by Rolex at Carnoustie. Picture: Getty

Colin Montgomerie speaks to the media ahead of the Senior open Championship presented by Rolex at Carnoustie. Picture: Getty

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Colin Montgomerie watched Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus inspire a new generation of golfers with their infamous “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry in 1977.

Now the Scot is hoping the game will benefit in the same way thanks to Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson fighting out another epic duel in The Open at Royal Troon.

“I think ‘77 was an opportunity to grow the game as we saw Watson and Nicklaus, two legends of the game, go at it that way, especially in the sunshine,” said Montgomerie, speaking at Carnoustie ahead of the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.

“It brought more people into the game and I hope it (Sunday’s thrilling title tussle won by Stenson) would do something similar to give opportunity to others to play.

“Here in Scotland, we have opportunity. There’s no doubt. We have 530 courses for four and a half million people. We have more courses per capita than anywhere else in the world, so there’s opportunity there.

“But let’s hope that the youngsters get away from their computers, get away from their phones, get themselves out there, do something constructive with their lives and go play golf.

“Let’s hope that it can encourage youth to get out there and try and emulate what Andy Murray is doing for tennis here in Scotland.

“Let’s hope that we see his success help others get themselves out and do something with themselves, as opposed to what’s happening in this world right now and it’s far too much, this social media stuff.

“What do people do on social media? Are they not busy? Are they not doing something with their lives? Do something bloody well constructive and get on with it.

“Try tennis or play golf or something and try and emulate those stars of today, the way I did. I was watching (Bjorn) Borg and (John) McEnroe.

“I was watching (Tom) Weiskopf win in ‘73 at Troon. That was my first Open when I was ten years old, and I wanted a bit of that, too. Of course you do.

“Forty-three years later, I’m doing it still. Great. Fantastic. And let’s hope that’s encouraging others.”

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