DESPITE the enormous success Colin Montgomerie has enjoyed since joining the Senior ranks of golf, the three-time Senior major winner is desperate to add to his trophy cabinet at this week’s Senior Open at Sunningdale.
The Scot has won the last two US Senior PGA Championships and the 2014 US Senior Open, in a sensational run that has seen him finish second or better in every one of the last five Senior majors played on the European Senior Tour.
It would mean the world to me to win here as well. It’s a lovely place to beColin Montgomerie
Montgomerie, who leads the US Champions Tour standings, finished second behind Bernhard Langer at last year’s Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales.
He also finished second at The Open to Tiger Woods at St Andrews in 2005 – meaning he is still chasing that elusive victory in an R&A event.
“It would be nice to have an R&A victory,” said the 52 year old.
“It would mean the world to me to win here as well. It’s a lovely place to be, just to walk around even, never mind even playing the great golf course.
“It’s playing quite short, so that will make it less fiery, which will make the course play better.”
Montgomerie could only stand back and admire in Porthcawl last year, as Langer won by a record 13 strokes – the largest in the history of Senior major championship golf.
The two have been vying for the honours on the Champions Tour circuit this year, with Montgomerie currently first and Langer third on the American tour’s standings.
The man stuck in-between the two European Ryder Cup greats is Jeff Maggert, the American who pipped Montgomerie to this year’s US Senior Open. The two have been paired together for the first two rounds at Sunningdale, with American legend Tom Watson the other man in that marquee three-ball, and Montgomerie is looking forward to playing with his contemporaries.
“They have got goals ahead of them, I know they have. They’ve got targets to try and win this, so I’ve got to keep on top of them,” said the eight-time European Order of Merit winner.
“It won’t be easy though. I know how well Jeff’s playing and I know that this course will suit him, with the style of his play he has, and Tom Watson is still a highly competitive individual.
“So it will be a good three-ball, and I was excited when the three ball came out because I know that if I stay ahead of those two guys come Friday evening, it will be job done, and that I won’t be far away from the lead.”
Some players lose their competitive edge as they get older – something which will not be happening to Montgomerie any time soon, judging by these comments, which might also serve as a warning to the world class field gathered here in Berkshire this week.
“It’s the worst place to finish. I’ve had a couple of seconds this year already, one in a major and another one,” he added.
“I’d much rather finish 21st or 22nd. That means I didn’t have a chance to win. Second place means I did and I hate that. So that keeps me driving forward to try and win. I just love the competition.”