Monty Tells of Torment During Separation

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 23, 2002, 4:00 pm
Colin Montgomerie describes himself as a broken man, wandering the streets of London until 3 a.m., spending days shuffling through Harrods Department Store during the three months that he and wife Eimear were separated in the summer of 2000.
Montgomerie revealed the troubling story in his book, The Real Monty: The Autobiography of Colin Montgomerie. The separation changed him from a man whose life was centered totally on golf to the person he is today, focused on family first and career second.
Montgomerie describes himself as a selfish man as he entered 1998, the year of Eimears 30th birthday. There was very little communication between the two of us, he wrote. If Eimear had a problem, I would brush it off with a suggestion that we deal with it later, maybe after the end of that week's tournament. I loathed anything in the way of confrontation.
By May of 2000, the situation had deteriorated dramatically. He tells of the Benson & Hedges tournament when Eimear and the children drove to the Belfry the final day. Montgomerie played poorly and refused to be consoled by any in his family, driving home alone. The following week, Monty asked his wife to return home during the third round of the Volvo PGA, claiming she and the children were a distraction. That was hugely upsetting for her, he remembers.
The breakdown finally came to a head during the week of the British Open. We were unpacking when Eimear broke our silence to draw attention to a dinner invitation we had received from close friends at home. Did I think I would want to go? Montgomerie writes. I said that I was not prepared to think about it. I haven't got a clue, I said, irritated.
A little later, when Eimear dared to broach the subject again and got a similarly unhelpful response, she snapped. Eyeing me with a cold contempt, she announced that she had finally had enough. Golf, she pronounced, had taken over my life to the point where I would do better on my own. The marriage might as well be over. In fact, it was over in her eyes. Having said as much, she walked from the room.
Montgomerie at first felt wronged and self-righteous. He tells of finishing the tournament in a daze, breaking down in tears once on the final day on the 12th green. Shortly thereafter, he moved out of his home and into the Hilton Hotel in the Chelsea Harbor section of London. His first night there, he said, was fitful. As I lay there, the success I had had in golf and such adulation as had come my way suddenly seemed so meaningless, he wrote.
Then began the days in Harrods and the lonely ramblings at night. His tormented existence continued until he took the children for a weekend in the fall. It was full of fatherly things and ended with Eimear sending him a message - 'Thanks for giving them a good time.'
The weekend had worked from another point of view, he said. It was not until I had the three of them to myself for those two days that I began to understand the accusations that Eimear had been leveling at me. I saw then that we had not been like a normal family doing normal things. My contribution was nowhere near what it should have been. She was right in what she had said about golf meaning too much to me.
Eimear and he began exchanging messages on a regular basis. She and the children were to go on vacation over the New Years to Barbados, a trip that had been planned as a family outing before the separation. They did go and Montgomerie was in a state of high anticipation until the phone call came from Eimear, telling him the family had arrived safely.
Montgomerie asked about the welfare of the children. Eimear suddenly answered, 'The children need a father and I need a husband. You'd better get out here.'
That was the invitation he needed. He hurriedly threw some clothes in a suitcase and left London on the spur of the moment. Upon arrival in Barbados, Monty took a cab to the house, walked through the unlocked door and found her and the children on the beach.
It was some moment, and the start of our new life together, he wrote.
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Molinari reflects on beating Woods at Ryder Cup, Open

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 9:11 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Francesco Molinari might be a useful resource for the European Ryder Cup team.

He’s already beaten Tiger Woods, head to head, at a Ryder Cup and a major.

Molinari was in the anchor match at the 2012 Ryder Cup when Woods conceded on the final hole to give the Europeans an outright victory in the incredible comeback at Medinah. He said the last hole was a “blur,” and it remains the last Ryder Cup that both Molinari and Woods played.

“I’ve improved a lot as a player since 2012,” said Molinari, who lost his previous singles match against Woods in 2010, 4 and 3, “and I hope to show that on the course this week.”

The proof is the claret jug that he now keeps at home.

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To win his first major he needed to not only endure the circus that a Woods group brings, but he needed to outlast the 14-time major champion and a host of other worthy contenders to prevail at Carnoustie.

Reflecting on that momentous day Tuesday, Molinari said he initially was dreading the final-round date with Woods.

“If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t exactly hoping to be paired with Tiger, not because I don’t like to play with him, but because, obviously, the hype and with him being in contention in a major, it’s going to be noisy and it’s going to be a lot of people," he said. 

“So the most challenging part was probably that moment when the draw came out, but then I quickly managed to think, You know, whatever. I don’t really care. I’m here to do a job, and they can’t really influence how I do my job.”  

To thrive in that situation gave Molinari a lot of confidence – especially heading into a pressure-cooker like the Ryder Cup.

Asked whether it’s more pressure trying to win a major or a Ryder Cup – since he’s now done both – Molinari said: “You won’t believe me, but it’s nowhere near. Carnoustie was nowhere near Medinah or in any matching ways. It’s hard to believe, but it’s probably because you play for a team; you play for a continent in our case, and you know about the tradition and what players have done in the past.”

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Woods 25/1 to break Nicklaus' record by age 50

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 9:05 am

With his victory at the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods crept closer to Sam Snead's all-time PGA Tour wins mark. But he also got fans thinking about whether golf's most famous record is once again in play.

Woods has been stuck on 14 career major titles since the 2008 U.S. Open, although he had a pair of close calls this summer. But now that he's again a winner on Tour, oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook created bets on where Woods' career major haul will end up.

The line they drew in the sand? Dec. 30, 2025 - when Woods, now 42, will turn 50 years old.

According to the Westgate, Woods is a -150 favorite to win at least one more major by that time. He's 2/1 to win at least two more, 5/1 to win at least three more and 12/1 to win at least four more. But it'll take five more majors to break Nicklaus' record haul of 18, and the odds on Woods doing that by age 50 are set at 25/1.

There are also odds on Woods' 2019 major prospects, as he's already the betting favorite for the Masters at 9/1. Woods' odds of winning any major next year are listed at +225, while the pessimists can wager -275 that his major victory drought will extend to at least 2020.

There's even a bet for those expecting some serious history: the odds of Woods sweeping all four majors next year at age 43 are 200/1.

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All 12 Europeans have history at Le Golf National

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 8:55 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The European team has plenty of experience at Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National, which has been the longtime host of the French Open.

The question this week is whether it’ll matter.

The only American player to compete in this year’s French Open was Justin Thomas. Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and Bubba Watson all got a look at Le Golf National before The Open.

Not surprisingly, the European team has a proven track record here – all 12 players have seen the course at some point. Alex Noren won in July. Tommy Fleetwood is a past champion, too. So is European vice captain Graeme McDowell. Francesco Molinari and assistant Lee Westwood also have runners-up here.

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“I definitely think it’s a help to us, for sure,” Ian Poulter said. “It’s probably the most-played venue as a Ryder Cup venue for all of the European players that have played. So we definitely have a feel of how this golf course has played in very different weather conditions. I definitely think we have an understanding of how this golf course can play.”

Of course, this setup is no different than what players typically experience as they prepare for a major championship. They’ll play 18 holes each of the next two days, then maybe nine holes on Thursday, as they get a feel for the layout.  

“When it’s the best players in the world, and we play on golf courses week-in and week-out where we have to learn a new golf course, it’s difficult to say how much of an advantage it will be,” Fleetwood said. “It can only be a good thing, or it can’t do any harm that we know the course better or that we’ve played it more times.

“Knowledge can only be a good thing. Maybe it’s a little advantage, but it’s the best players in the world that are out here, so it’s not something to look at too much.”

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First-tee grandstand 'biggest you'll ever see'

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 8:27 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The first-tee nerves could be even more intense this week at the Ryder Cup.

If only because of the atmosphere.

The grandstand surrounding the first hole at Le Golf National is unlike anything that’s ever been seen at this event – a 6,500-seat behemoth that dwarfs the previous arenas.

“It’s the biggest grandstand you’ll ever see at a golf tournament,” Tommy Fleetwood said.

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“It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t had to hit that tee shot before,” Ian Poulter said. “When I think back (to my first Ryder Cup) in 2004, the stand is nothing like what we have today. So it really is going to be quite a special moment Friday, and it’s going to be very interesting to see.”

Poulter said it’ll be his job to prepare, as best he can, the team’s rookies for what they’ll experience when the first ball goes in the air Friday morning.

“The No. 1 thing I’ve pictured since the Ryder Cup became a goal is that first tee shot,” Fleetwood said. “But nothing prepares you for the real thing. The grandstand is pretty big – there’s no denying that.

“It’s something that everybody wants in their career, so as nerve-wracking as it is, and whatever those feelings are, everybody wants that in their life. So you just have to take it on and let it all happen.”