Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revitalised Monty Is Looking to the Future

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revitalised Monty Is Looking to the Future

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMITH

COLIN MONTGOMERIE today revealed how he rescued his golf career by having a heart-to-heart with himself.

His buoyant mood after finishing runner-up to Tiger Woods in the 134th Open Championship at St Andrews was in contrast to the despair he felt at the end of last year when the pressures of a high-profile divorce had sent him plummeting down the world rankings.

Many people within professional golf doubted whether the 42-year-old London-based Scot would ever regain the kind of form that made him the No1 player in Europe a record seven successive times and a serious contender for all of golf 's top prizes.

Montgomerie knew he was facing a moment of truth, and after thrilling the packed gallery at St Andrews with a stirring challenge to Woods he admitted: "I had to give myself a kick up the backside.

"I had to have a chat with myself and ask: 'What am I doing here?

What's going on? What's happening?

What do I want to do'?

"I told myself I was 83rd in the world and the one thing I had to do was stop the slide.

"That became my number one priority. Once I stopped the slide then I could start going forward, or at least think about going forward."

The turning point came with the Caltex Masters in Singapore at the end of January when he finished second to Nick Dougherty.

Montgomerie recalled: "I came out and shot 65 the first day and led by three. That was it really.

"That was the start of it. It put me on the map again.

"It put me on the scoreboards, put me on the leaderboards. And I'm much more comfortable being on the leaderboard than off it."

He came to St Andrews having risen to 40th in the world rankings and, were it not for a vital misjudgment with club selection midway through the last round yesterday, Montgomerie believes his name might now be etched onto the famous Claret Jug. …

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