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BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: COLIN MONTGOMERIE NOVEMBER 3rd, 2002
Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used
DAVID FROST: Colin Montgomerie has been hailed as Britain's greatest golfer. He's topped the rankings on the European golf circuit seven consecutive times and he was unbeaten and stunning in the Ryder Cup matches just a month or more ago. He has a reputation for having quite a temper as well, a delightful bloke but he does sometimes get a bit difficult, one commentator described him.
DAVID FROST: And Colin Montgomerie is here now, welcome Colin.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Good morning.
DAVID FROST: Good to have you with us. Reading through your book, with that very brilliant autobiographical title, The Real Monty, what would you say, so far, has been the best time and the worst time in your life?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well the worst time is very easy, I suppose you always look at these things negatively to start with, and the worst time was my split with my wife, I suppose. You know we were sort of three or four months separated, if you like, and I can vouch for anybody who's been in that position, it's not great.
DAVID FROST: And you used to stroll the streets at night because you couldn't get to sleep during that three months.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Well I did, I just wanted to be around people and went walking - and it was quite, quite therapeutic, in many ways, to, to have done that, and to have come through and I can speak to you easier about it now, because it had a happy ending.
DAVID FROST: Yes - a happy ending in Barbados.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Indeed. Indeed. There's worst places to have an ending, I can assure you.
DAVID FROST: And what's been the most moment?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I suppose it's difficult to answer that in, in one game or one match. I've been very fortunate, my career has spanned for longer than most, I suppose. I've been a pro now for - what? Fifteen years, and I can't honestly say that I've had a bad time professionally, so seven Order of Merits in a row, possibly, and there's been six Ryder Cups I've competed in, I suppose everyone of them has it's own, own sort of great thoughts and -
DAVID FROST: Well this most recent Ryder Cup would be way up there because what did you do -four and a half points out of five?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I mean sure, I think it was a great team effort to be honest. It doesn't really matter who got the points - yes I happened to get more than anyone else but it didn't really matter, I was part of a team and honoured to be part of that team and enjoyed it thoroughly. And it was great that a fellow Scot in Sam Torrance was captain and I was doing well for him.
DAVID FROST: How old are you now Colin?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Thirty-nine.
DAVID FROST: Thirty-nine, I thought so. Now how long can you stay at the top in golf? A lot longer than in swimming or diving, certainly, where they're over the top at 12.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Or tennis or football or gymnastics, I'd be over the top at 11. But no, I think golf I can hopefully remain around the top ten in the world for another six or seven years, and I'd hope to do that.
DAVID FROST: Do you think you'll win a major in that time? It's odd you've had all these triumphs and seven European titles and all of that - why is it that a major has eluded you?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I don't know. Hopefully the word luck springs to mind, you know, and I've had a couple of misfortunate bounces and a couple of rip outs, it's amazing, as golfers are viewing can understand, and it's just one of these things, I think, that the more I knock on the door, someone will open it one day, hopefully over the next six or seven years.
DAVID FROST: And I mean in terms of, as you go in to future games and so on, you're renowned for having a tremendous will to win.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yes.
DAVID FROST: Is it possible to have too much of a will to win?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh it was, it was, and I had it. Yeah. I mean when I was winning these Order of Merits in Europe from say '93 onwards, my ambition was almost too strong. And, and yes, it's great to be ambitious in life and it's super to want and, you know, to increase one's standard of living and everything that goes with that, but at the same time, to bring one's work home - as I was doing - and not understanding really, was causing problems, and I didn't see it. But, yes I had to achieve and the more I achieved the more I had to achieve and it was a sort of conveyor belt that didn't want to stop and it got me into all sorts of problems.
DAVID FROST: Absolutely. And do you find, when you're playing now, are you as tense as you ever were, or are you more relaxed now?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: No, I'm more relaxed now. I think people are noticing that, that I am maturing, if you like, I'm nearing 40, I'm 40 in June, and I think that you do mature and, and I'm fortunate that I'm still playing at the top of the game but at the same time I think that relaxation is, is a great thing - especially when it's your job.
DAVID FROST: What will you do - you've got five or six years at the top, I mean you'll win a major, at least one, in that time.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh thank you.
DAVID FROST: We hereby predict on Breakfast with Frost. What will you do with your life when the day comes when you decide to hang up your boots, or hang up your clubs?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Yeah, you see 45 is young, I suppose, and, you know, you think what are you going to do. I'm fortunate I've got a golf course design company that's, we have what 12 or 13 courses now, world-wide, that carry my name. So I can go into that. And also some academies, for the future of golf. I suppose I was lucky to have the opportunity to play very early in my life and I'd like to give that opportunity to other youngsters, so we're opening academies all over the country, and it seems to be working quite well.
DAVID FROST: What's the key to being a successful golfer? I mean what is the talent above all else that you need?
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: I think there's a number of people, and I'm sure that good shots from amateurs are as good as mine, I just happen to do it more often, possibly. And I found very early on in my career that I could cope. I could cope with certain pressure situations, as some footballers can cope with taking a penalty, I suppose, and some snooker players can finish off a great break. I found, but how I'm not sure, that I could hole a putt when I had to, and others couldn't. And that's why I went forward, I suppose.
DAVID FROST: Well it's a joy to have you with us. Good luck with the book.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Thank you very much.
DAVID FROST: Good luck with that major and we hope in fact you go on playing long past 45.
COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Thank you.
DAVID FROST: Colin Montgomerie, thank you very much indeed.
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