Crash still haunts Monty


HAIKOU, China – European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie says he is still having flashbacks of his recent car crash.

He escaped with minor physical injuries when his BMW was involved in a multi-vehicle accident in Scotland on Oct. 21. The psychological damage might have been more severe.

“It was a bit of a shock to say the least,” Montgomerie said during the Mission Hills Star Trophy pro-celebrity tournament on Saturday. “It was just a normal day, listening to the music, and then suddenly boom. It was very frightening, not good.”

Asked whether he was having flashbacks, Montgomerie continued: “Yes I am. My wife (Gaynor) drove down from Perth (to pick me up). She lost her husband back in 2003. Don’t want to lose another one.”

“I’m not physically OK. My (right) rib cage and hip were out of position, so I had intense physio before I came here. It was touch and go to come here.”

Montgomerie also addressed potential changes to the European Ryder Cup qualification system, the world No. 1 ranking, and Tiger Woods’ future.

If Montgomerie has his way, the 2012 European captain will have at least four wild card picks. “The timing was wrong, where I was picking a team and had to tell people on the golf course in America (playing the final round at The Barclays) whether they were in or not.”

As for the world No. 1 ranking, Montgomerie is delighted that either Lee Westwood or Martin Kaymer will take over the top spot on Sunday night, ending Woods’ reign of 281 consecutive weeks at the top. But he warned that Woods would be back: “It might be the end of Tiger’s reign for a limited spell.”

“He’ll be back with a vengeance next year, I think, and winning majors again. I’m still convinced he’s going to get to Jack Nicklaus’s record (of 18 major titles. Woods currently has 14),” Monty said.