MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Colin Montgomerie opened with a 1-under par 69. Asked to head to the media centers interview room ' you wondered which direction the media would go with Monty. And you wondered which way Monty would go with the media .
Monty was glad to oblige. Yeah, obviously delighted that Im actually here on Thursdays instead of -- I usually come in here Tuesday and Wednesday and you want to talk to me and then I never see you again (laughter).
In that year at Congressional, Montgomerie led after round one. Now, Monty might be ready to surprise when the pressure is no longer so high. So he was asked if a lower profile could help in his chase to win major No. 1.
Yes, it can. I think the expectation of me in the 90s to win this thing was very high, and I gave it a go a couple times and was not quite close. It does make a difference where you are more relaxed, Monty said.
Relaxed is one thing. But Monty has raised our hopes so many times before. He had a chance at the PGA Championship at Riviera won by Steve Elkington. Hes challenged through three rounds at the Masters. And on more than a few occasions ' including last year at St. Andrews ' hes given a good showing at the Open Championship.
Colin is good theatre. He gets plenty mad. He seems to find ways to be the object of hecklers, but he also has the Ben Wallace-like rebound ability that not all the greats have.
It was nice to have contended last year at St. Andrews, Monty said. It was an amazing crowd reaction, and the warmth of the crowd was fantastic for me, and its nice to contend with Tiger on a course that was built for him 200 years before he was born (laughter).
A few years back, after a couple of stinging episodes, there was a Be Nice to Monty campaign stirred up by a Golf Magazine. These days Colin doesnt seem to need them ' but he does have a sense of humor about it. Thursdays 69 was a day where no Be Nice to Monty badges were needed.
I didnt need my Golf Digest badge thank goodness, Monty quipped. They made 25,000 of them. I dont know why they made so many (laughter).
Heres the deal. There are no guarantees in this 106th U.S. Open ' or any Open. Monty still hasnt won anything in the United States, save for the a few Ryder Cup wins including the trouncing at Oakland Hills a few years back.
Can he hang in there? He said he wouldnt have bothered flying over here if he didnt think he could.
Hes said that before. Maybe not with the warm and fuzzy perspective he brings now at the age of 42. What do you think?
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