Colin Montgomerie: Wikis

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Colin Montgomerie
ColinMontgomerie.jpg
Personal information
Full name Colin Stuart Montgomerie OBE
Nickname Monty
Born 23 June 1963 (1963-06-23) (age 46)
Glasgow, Scotland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Nationality  Scotland
Residence Dunning, Perthshire
Spouse Eimear Wilson (1990–2006, divorced)
Gaynor Knowles (2008–)
Children Olivia, Venetia, Cameron
Career
College Houston Baptist University
Turned professional 1987
Current tour(s) European Tour (joined 1988)
Professional wins 40
Number of wins by tour
European Tour 31 (4th all time)
Best results in Major Championships
The Masters T8: 1998
U.S. Open 2nd/T2: 1994, 1997, 2006
Open Championship 2nd: 2005
PGA Championship 2nd: 1995
Achievements and awards
Officer of the Most
Excellent Order of
the British Empire
2004
European Tour
Order of Merit winner
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005
Sir Henry Cotton
Rookie of the Year
1988
European Tour
Player of the Year
1995, 1996, 1997, 1999

Colin Stuart Montgomerie, OBE (born 23 June 1963) is a Scottish professional golfer often referred to by one of his nicknames 'Monty'. He has had one of the finest careers in European Tour history, having won a record eight Order of Merit titles including a streak of seven consecutively from 1993 to 1999, and 31 European tour victories, placing him fourth on the all time list. He is renowned also for both his extraordinary Ryder Cup performances as well as the dubious distinction of being one of the most accomplished players never to have won a major championship after finishing runner-up on five occasions. His career high world ranking is second.[1]

Contents

Biography

Although Scottish by birth and ethnicity, he was raised in Yorkshire, England, where his father James was Managing Director of Fox's Biscuits.[2] Montgomerie spent a number of years at the Ilkley Golf Club where he was tutored by the past professional Bill Ferguson. He was educated at both Leeds Grammar School and Strathallan School, Perthshire. During his time in Leeds, he became a supporter of Leeds United[3] but still remains a loyal supporter of Glasgow Rangers. His father would later become the secretary of Royal Troon Golf Club, one of Scotland's most famous clubs. Montgomerie became one of the first British golfers to go to a United States college, attending Houston Baptist University. In later years, many top young British golfers (e.g., Luke Donald) would follow Monty's path to United States universities.

He won three important Scottish amateur tournaments — the 1983 Scottish Youths Championship, the 1985 Scottish Stroke Play Championship, and the 1987 Scottish Amateur Championship. He also played for Scotland twice in the Eisenhower Trophy (1984 and 1986) and for Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup twice (1985 and 1987).

Career outline

Montgomerie turned professional in 1988, and was named the Rookie of the Year on the European Tour that season. He quickly developed into one of Europe's top pros, winning his first event at the 1989 Portuguese Open by 8 shots and making his Ryder Cup debut in 1991. He finished first on the European Tour Order of Merit every year from 1993 to 1999 (a record for most consecutive Orders of Merit) and has thirty one victories on the tour, including the 1998, 1999, and 2000 European PGA Championships. He first reached the top-10 in the Official World Golf Rankings in 1994 and spent almost 400 weeks in the top-10.[4] His highest ranking was number two. In his prime Montgomerie was considered one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the world and became a very precise iron player, often able to judge the distance he hit the ball exactly from long range.

His form fell away gradually in the new millennium, partly due to marriage problems, and his ranking slumped to 82nd in the world, but he came back strongly in 2005, winning a record eighth European Tour Order of Merit and returning to the top ten in the World Rankings.[5] Late in 2005 he became the first man to win 20 million Euros on the European Tour - topping the European Tour's all time highest earners list. He remained the leader in career earnings on the European Tour until 2010, when he was surpassed by Ernie Els.

At the end of 2004, Montgomerie was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours. He represents the Turnberry resort in Scotland, where there is a Colin Montgomerie Golf Academy.

Current form

After re-forming his partnership with caddie Alastair McLean in 2004, the pair split again on 10 June, a week before the start of the U.S. Open. With his new caddie, Craig Connoly, Montgomerie managed to win for the first time in nearly 2 years at the European Open in July 2007, silencing the critics who have asserted he would not win again.

However his form has once again deserted him and in mid-2008 Montgomerie slipped out of the top 100 players in the world ranking system. A second place at the French Open in June boosted him back up the rankings, but his good play has been short lived, and as a result Montgomerie failed to qualify for Nick Faldo's Ryder Cup team.

Major Championships

Montgomerie is generally considered to be one of the best golfers never to have won a major championship, after finishing in second place on five separate occasions. During what most consider to be his best years in the 1990s Montgomerie had several close shaves. A third place at the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links was the first of these. He was prematurely congratulated by Jack Nicklaus who said "Congratulations on your first U.S. Open victory" to Monty after he finished the 18th hole on Sunday.[6]

In 1994 Montgomerie lost in a three-man playoff to Ernie Els in 1994 at Oakmont Country Club (a playoff which also included Loren Roberts). Famously, Montgomerie was left with only one shirt to play in during the Monday playoff, a dark tartan design, which did not help his cause in the very hot playing conditions. He shot 78 to trail the 74s shot by Els and Roberts, with Els eventually winning at the 20th extra hole.

Ernie Els was once again to get the better of Montgomerie three years later at Congressional Country Club. Montgomerie's 65 in the opening round is considered to be one of the finest rounds in U.S. Open history, but a 76 in the second round brought him back to the field. A bogey on the 71st hole sent Montgomerie one shot behind Els, who parred the last to win.

However, it was at the 2006 U.S. Open, on the West course of the Winged Foot Golf Club, where Montgomerie had his best chance to win his elusive first major. He stood in the middle of the 18th fairway in the final round having sunk a 50 foot birdie putt on the previous green, which took him into the lead. During the wait on the 18th fairway for the group in front to finish, Montgomerie switched his club from a six iron to a seven, assuming adrenaline would kick in. He hit a poor shot, coming up short and right into the thick rough. He pitched on and then three-putted from 30 feet to lose the tournament by one stroke. After the loss, Montgomerie said, "At my age I've got to think positively. I'm 43 next week, and it's nice I can come back to this tournament and do well again, and I look forward to coming back here again next year and trying another U.S. Open disaster."[7]

At the 1995 PGA Championship, Montgomerie birdied the last three holes of the Riviera Country Club course in the final round to tie Steve Elkington at 17 under par. On the first playoff hole, after being in better position after two shots, Montgomerie missed his putt while Elkington holed from 35 feet to claim the championship.

Montgomerie has never performed really well at the Masters tournament, his best finish being tied 8th in 1998. Some would say this is surprising, as great putting is not a strong feature of his game (this generally considered to be imperative in performing well at Augusta).

At the Open Championship it is only in recent years that Montgomerie has shown signs of challenging to win. He started brightly in 2001 at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, with an opening 65, and still remained ahead after 36 holes, but fell away over the weekend. He was also in contention with two rounds to play at Muirfield in 2002 and Royal Troon Golf Club in 2004, but failed to capitalise and finished mid way down the field. His best finish in the Championship came in 2005 at St Andrews, where he finished second to Tiger Woods, who beat him by five shots.

Ryder Cup and other team golf

Montgomerie practicing before the 2004 Ryder Cup

Despite his disappointments in the majors Montgomerie is heralded as one of the greatest Ryder Cup players of all time. To date he has been a member of the European team on 8 occasions and has never lost in a singles match. He holds a win-lose-draw record of 20-9-7, thus giving him a total points scored tally of 23.5, only 1.5 points behind the all time record held by Nick Faldo. He has played pivotal roles in several of the matches. He halved the last hole with Scott Hoch to obtain the half point that won Europe the cup in 1997 and sank the winning putt[8] in what is considered to be his finest hour in the 2004 staging of the event.

Montgomerie was not part of Nick Faldo's 2008 Ryder Cup team with the wildcards going to Paul Casey and Ian Poulter.

Montgomerie captained the Great Britain & Ireland team in the first four stagings of the Seve Trophy, losing in 2000 but winning in 2002, 2003, and 2005.

On 28 January 2009, it was announced that Montgomerie will be the captain the European team at the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.[9]

Relationship with the golfing public

Colin Montgomerie at the Austrian Open 2006

Montgomerie has often come under fire for his attitude on the golf course. He is noted for his lack of focus, and quite often becomes distracted by seemingly very minor incidents. As a result, it is quite commonplace for Montgomerie to ask scorers, marshalls, tv crew and members of the crowd to move or be silent during a round of golf. Compared to many of the other best players of his generation, this is quite unusual behaviour, as most other professionals tend to ignore these occurrences.

Due partly to his slumped shoulders, and droopy walking style, and wearing baggy pants, Montgomerie has also developed a reputation for being miserable on the golf course. When he is not playing his best golf, Montgomerie has down the years been quick to throw temper tantrums, often blaming those around him for his poor play. Despite this Montgomerie has become one of golfing public's most popular figures, and remains the fan favourite at the Open Championship, especially when it is held in Scotland.

Montgomerie's struggle to get on with the American galleries, is often cited as perhaps the reason he has failed to match his success in Europe with success in the United States.

Personal life

Montgomerie met his Scottish ex-wife Eimear Wilson, also from Troon[2], when he was a good amateur and she was a promotions assistant. Eimear was a 17-year-old law student at Edinburgh University and a spectator at an amateur championship in Nairn, at which Montgomerie destroyed the field.[10] The couple had three children (Olivia, Venetia, and Cameron), and lived in Oxshott in Surrey.

In 2002, Eimear gave Montgomerie an ultimatum to choose between golf and marriage, resulting in him spending 10 weeks alone before they agreed to try again. In 2006, the couple finally broke up, with Eimear suing for divorce on grounds of unreasonable behavior due to his obsession with golf,[11] claiming it left her suffering from anxiety and depression.[12] In February 2006, following strong but denied rumours that she had grown close to actor Hugh Grant, the couple agreed to a clean break divorce settlement of £8 million, in return for Eimear giving up any claim on Montgomerie's future earnings.[13][14][15]

Since the divorce, he has had various relationships, including Spanish model Ines Sastre,[16] and a divorced neighbor Jo Baldwin whom he met on the school run.[17] Their split, he suggested, caused his worst run in his professional career.[18]

In 2007 Montgomerie announced his engagement to Scottish millionaire Gaynor Knowles. The pair were married on 19 April 2008 at Loch Lomond Golf Club.[19][20]

Montgomerie has been defended twice by celebrity driving solicitor Nick Freeman. The first time Montgomerie was acquitted when the policeman who was said to have caught him travelling at 96mph on the A3 near Esher, Surrey (a 70mph road) at 12:50am failed to attend court, making it impossible to prove that Montgomerie was driving. Freeman got him off a second time from a 56 day ban in November 2008, after Montgomerie was caught driving his Bentley Continental Flying Spur and failing to pay the fine. Freeman revealed that Montgomerie hated flying, and drove 55,000miles per annum in part to see his Surrey based children from his Scottish base.[21]

In March 2009, Montgomerie played in his milestone 500th European Tour event at the Open de Andalucia where he played well and made the cut, but was not a factor on the weekend.

Golfing record

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Amateur wins (3)

  • 1985 Scottish Stroke Play Championship
  • 1987 Scottish Amateur Championship

European Tour wins (31)

No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of
Victory
Runner(s)-up
1 22 Oct 1989 Portuguese Open - TPC -24 (67-65-69-63=264) 11 strokes Australia Rodger Davis, Spain Manuel Moreno,
United States Mike Smith
2 4 Aug 1991 Scandinavian Masters -18 (68-65-70-67=270) 1 stroke Spain Seve Ballesteros
3 25 Jul 1993 Heineken Dutch Open -7 (68-73-71-69=281) 1 stroke Argentina José Cóceres, France Jean Van de Velde
4 7 Nov 1993 Heineken Dutch Open -10 (69-70-67-68=274) 1 stroke Northern Ireland Darren Clarke
5 15 May 1994 Peugeot Open de Espana -11 (70-71-66-70=277) 1 stroke England Richard Boxall, Zimbabwe Mark McNulty,
England Mark Roe
6 21 Aug 1994 Murphy's English Open -14 (70-67-68-69=274) 1 stroke England Barry Lane
7 28 Aug 1994 Volvo German Open -19 (65-68-66-70=269) 1 stroke West Germany Bernhard Langer
8 27 Aug 1995 Volvo German Open -16 (69-64-68-67=268) 1 stroke Sweden Niclas Fasth, Scotland Sam Torrance
9 10 Sep 1995 Trophée Lancôme -11 (64-69-65-71=269) 1 stroke Scotland Sam Torrance
10 17 Mar 1996 Dubai Desert Classic -18 (67-68-67-68=270) 1 stroke Spain Miguel Ángel Jiménez
11 7 Jul 1996 Murphy's Irish Open -5 (69-69-73-68=279) 1 stroke Scotland Andrew Oldcorn, Australia Wayne Riley
12 8 Sep 1996 Canon European Masters -24 (64-71-61-63=260) 4 strokes Scotland Sam Torrance
13 8 Jun 1997 Compaq European Grand Prix -18 (69-68-68-65=270) 5 strokes South Africa Retief Goosen
14 6 Jul 1997 Murphy's Irish Open -15 (68-70-69-62=269) 7 strokes England Lee Westwood
15 25 May 1998 Volvo PGA Championship -14 (70-70-65-69=274) 1 stroke South Africa Ernie Els, Scotland Gary Orr,
Sweden Patrik Sjöland
16 13 Sep 1998 One 2 One British Masters -7 (70-72-70-69=281) 1 stroke Sweden Pierre Fulke, Argentina Eduardo Romero
17 27 Sep 1998 Linde German Masters -22 (65-68-66-67=266) 1 stroke Sweden Robert Karlsson, Fiji Vijay Singh
18 16 May 1999 Benson & Hedges International Open -15 (68-66-71-68=273) 3 strokes Argentina Ángel Cabrera, Sweden Per-Ulrik Johansson
19 31 May 1999 Volvo PGA Championship -18 (69-70-67-64=270) 5 strokes England Mark James
20 10 Jul 1999 Standard Life Loch Lomond -16 (69-65-70-64=268) 3 strokes Spain Sergio García, Sweden Michael Jonzon,
Sweden Mats Lanner
21 8 Aug 1999 Volvo Scandinavian Masters -20 (67-67-65-69=268) 9 strokes Sweden Jesper Parnevik
22 22 Aug 1999 BMW International Open -20 (69-65-64-70=268) 3 strokes Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington
23 7 May 2000 Novotel Perrier Open de France -16 (71-68-65-68=272) 2 strokes England Jonathan Lomas
24 29 May 2000 Volvo PGA Championship -17 (67-65-70-69=271) 3 strokes Northern Ireland Darren Clarke, Scotland Andrew Coltart,
England Lee Westwood
25 1 Jun 2001 Murphy's Irish Open -18 (63-69-68-66=266) 5 strokes Northern Ireland Darren Clarke, Sweden Niclas Fasth,
Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington
26 5 Aug 2001 Volvo Scandinavian Masters -14 (66-69-69-70=274) 1 stroke England Ian Poulter, England Lee Westwood
27 10 Nov 2002 Volvo Masters Andalucia -3 (70-69-72-70=281) Shared* Germany Bernhard Langer
28 21 Mar 2004 Caltex Masters -16 (71-69-67-65=272) 3 strokes United States Gregory Hanrahan
29 2 Oct 2005 Dunhill Links Championship -9 (70-65-73-71=279) 1 stroke England Kenneth Ferrie
30 4 Dec 2005 UBS Hong Kong Open -9 (69-66-66-70=271) 1 stroke South Korea K.J. Choi, South Africa James Kingston,
Republic of China Lin Keng-chi, United States Edward Loar,
Thailand Thammanoon Srirot
31 8 Jul 2007 Smurfit Kappa European Open -11 (69-71-64-65=269) 1 stroke Sweden Niclas Fasth

*Montgomerie and Langer agreed to share the 2002 Volvo Masters Andalucia, after failing light caused play to halt after two holes of a playoff.

Montgomerie also came first in the Volvo Bonus Pool every year from 1993 to 1998. The Volvo Bonus Pool was an extra tranche of prize money awarded at the end of each European Tour season from 1988 to 1998 to the regular members of the tour who had had the best performances over the season.

Other wins (9)

Results in major championships

Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
The Masters DNP DNP T37 T52 CUT T17 T39 T30 T8 T11
U.S. Open DNP DNP 3 T33 2 T28 T10 2 T18 T15
The Open Championship T48 T26 CUT CUT T8 CUT CUT T24 CUT T15
PGA Championship DNP DNP T33 CUT T36 2 CUT T13 T44 T6
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
The Masters T19 CUT T14 CUT CUT DNP CUT CUT DNP DNP
U.S. Open T46 T52 CUT T42 DNP T42 T2 CUT CUT DNP
The Open Championship T26 T13 82 WD T25 2 CUT CUT T58 CUT
PGA Championship T39 DQ CUT CUT 70 CUT CUT T42 CUT CUT

DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
WD = withdrew
DQ = disqualified
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.

Summary of major championship performances

  • Starts - 67
  • Wins - 0
  • 2nd place finishes - 5
  • Top 3 finishes - 6
  • Top 5 finishes - 6
  • Top 10 finishes - 10
  • Longest streak of top-10s in majors - 2

Results in World Golf Championship events

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 R32 DNP R64 R64 R16 DNP R32 R32 R16
CA Championship T20 T25 NT1 T31 T51 DNP T3 T41 T55 T65
Bridgestone Invitational T30 T8 4 WD T23 T58 T9 DNP T41 77

1Cancelled due to 9/11
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
NT = No Tournament
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Team appearances

Amateur

Professional

  • Ryder Cup (representing Europe): 1991, 1993, 1995 (winners), 1997 (winners), 1999, 2002 (winners), 2004 (winners), 2006 (winners)
  • Alfred Dunhill Cup (representing Scotland): 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 (winners), 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000
  • World Cup (representing Scotland): 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997 (individual winner), 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007 (winners), 2008
  • Four Tours World Championship: 1991 (winners)
  • Seve Trophy (playing captain of Great Britain & Ireland team): 2000, 2002 (winners), 2003 (winners), 2005 (playing captain - winners), 2007 (winners)
  • UBS Cup (representing the rest of the world): 2003, 2004
  • Royal Trophy (representing Europe): 2010 (playing captain - winners)

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Week 45 2008 news Official World Golf Ranking site.
  2. ^ a b The Scotsman
  3. ^ Monty's Backing, LeedsUnited.com, 8 April 2008, Accessed 8 April 2008
  4. ^ 69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking
  5. ^ BBC SPORT | Golf | Montgomerie back in world top 10
  6. ^ Kite Beats the Elements, but It Isn't a Breeze
  7. ^ The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations, ed. Jim Apfelbaum. 2007.
  8. ^ Montgomerie is widely credited as having holed the winning putt, although Ian Poulter birdied on the 15th hole of his match to guarantee a half point and so mathematically win the Ryder Cup seconds before Montgomerie. This was commentated on by course commentators and Radio Five, whose Golf correspondent Ian Coulter recalled in the News of the World: "My editor said Poulter was three up seconds before Monty hit his putt. Then Colin's putt went in - you can imagine the situation. To have over-ruled his achievement would have been like trying to deny Alan Shearer a goal that went in off a defender." "This man won us Ryder Cup - not Monty" News of the World (London); Sep 26, 2004; Geoff Sweet; p. 75. Frank Keating of The Guardian also noted this chain of events, writing "radio logged the fact that it was not Montgomerie's putt which actually clinched the cup but Poulter's, a matter of seconds before and a few holes behind." "Golf, Cricket: Notes from the touchline" The Guardian (Manchester); Sep 24, 2004; Frank Keating; p. 34
  9. ^ Monty to lead Europe at Ryder Cup
  10. ^ The cruellest cut: Monty's marriage collapses in the final round - Golf - www.smh.com.au
  11. ^ Colin Montgomerie Divorce Settlement
  12. ^ News - Telegraph
  13. ^ Monty settles divorce row with £8m | This is Money
  14. ^ BBC SPORT | Golf | Monty in £15m divorce settlement
  15. ^ Colin Montgomerie's divorce costs him £15m
  16. ^ The Sports Network - Golf
  17. ^ Montgomerie happy to be back on track | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited Sport
  18. ^ Monty's poor run blamed on split with girlfriend - Scotsman.com Sport
  19. ^ Mair, Lewine (2007-08-29). "Colin Montgomerie's dinner engagement". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/sport/2007/08/29/sgmont129.xml. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  20. ^ Mair, Lewine (2007-10-31). "Ernie Els can still be king of Europe". Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/10/31/sgmair131.xml. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  21. ^ "Monty zoomer beats drive ban". The Sun. 2008-12-02. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1993858.ece. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 

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