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Press Pass Can Monty Contend at Carnoustie


Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
Hot Topic
With his win in Europe this past week, can Colin Montgomerie be a serious contender for the Open Championship at Carnoustie?
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
The win means Monty is on form and that's always important. But his record at Open Championships is spotty at best. I can think of 20 guys I would immediately pick ahead of Montgomerie for Carnoustie. I don't see a win at a major for Monty now or ever. His best chances, most notably U.S. Opens in 1992 and 1994, and PGA 1995, are behind him.
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
Yes, Colin can make a run at Carnoustie. As straight as he drives the ball, Colin, when he has confidence, which he should have after his win at the K Club, should be able to contend for that ever-elusive first major championship next week in his home country. What a story that would be!
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
I've always been surprised at Monty's relatively poor results in this particular major. His best chance to win at Carnoustie will be to hang around relatively quietly for three rounds, shoot a great number on Sunday, and watch as others fade to hand him the title.
Hot Topic
This week is the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. Should the European Tour use a more links-style venue as a British Open lead-in to attract an even greater field?
This is an interesting question and to answer it you have to begin by pointing out how few true links courses there are on the European Tour schedule. It's probably more important to a lot of players that Loch Lomond, being in Scotland, is always a conveneient commute to any course in the Open rota. Tiger, by the way, never plays Loch Lomond. He has chosen, on several occasions, to spend the week prior to the Open Championship playing links golf in Ireland.
I think it'd be great if links golf was used the week before the British Open. But like the PGA TOUR, money and sponsors dictate things on the European Tour and I would imagine Loch Lomond is the venue because of both factors. I do not think it matters what style the course is as far getting more Americans. Players from here are either going to go over or they're not. It's seems to me that it's a personal choice made for scheduling reasons around a major and not the style of course.
Americans just don't like to travel outside of their country to play golf unless they have to. It's sad, really. I'd love to see a links-style venue host the precursor to the Open. And I'd love to see more Americans flock over to play it. But that's not likely to happen. Many just prefer to come over a couple of days before the Open, acclimate, and then get ready for the championship on their own schedule.
Hot Topic
With the Presidents Cup in Montreal, should Mike Weir be selected for the International Presidents Cup team regardless of his form or standing?
This is a special situation. Weir is a special player. And Canada is a special venue because of the avidness of its golf fans. Memo to International captain Gary Player: Throw past performance out the window. Pick Weir. Look what happened when the Europeans made a sentimental pick of Darren Clarke at last year's Ryder Cup in Ireland. It was an inspiration.
Mike Weir should absolutely be on the Presidents Cup team. He is the face of Canadian golf and is a national hero there. End of story.
Without question. All Gary Player -- and Jack Nicklaus -- talks about is how the Presidents Cup is NOT the Ryder Cup. That this competition is one of sportsmanship and building the game, not gamesmanship and winning at any cost. If he really believes that, he'll select Weir regardless of his form. Weir is a national icon and his presence will definitely be a boost to the competition.
This past weeks U.S. Senior Open was held at Whistling Straits. Would you like to see more majors awarded to newer venues or stick with the older, more renowned courses?
I'd like to see a mixture. Would love to see the Senior Open at Pacific Dunes in Oregon. Also, I don't think the USGA needs to hold the feet of the over-50 guys to the fire so much in terms of course set-up. Remember, a lot of those feet are tired.
If the new golf courses chosen are worthy, like Whistling Straits is, I love seeing new courses host the biggest events. I also love the tradition of the old courses. As long as majors are held at great courses I like the mix between young and old.
I'd love to see some newer courses used to host major championships, especially on the Champions and LPGA tours. These two tours need a little extra publicity during their majors, and the use of an oft-talked about, but rarely/never played venue can add some interest.
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