Colin Montgomerie (1963- )
Born Glasgow, Montgomerie is currently one of Britain's top golfers. He plays mostly in Europe where he is consistently in the top 5 five finishers of the tournaments he plays in.
Montgomerie, whose father was secretary at Royal Troon, was introduced to golf from an early age. Eventhough he attended a public school throughout his formative years, he still found time to compete as an amateur. He had an enviable amateur career, winning national championships and serving on two Walker Cup squads. He attended Houston Baptist University, Texas under a golf scholarship where he studied business management and law. His intention was to enter into the business and management side of golf rather than become a professional. However after his graduation, he decided to 'have a go' at the European tour and turned professional in 1987.
It was a decision which Montgomerie certainlty does not regret. His first victory was the 1989 Portuguese Open. Since then, he has consistently been a top finisher if not winner. By 1991, he topped the European Order of Merit and did so again in 1994. He has also been awarded the Vardon trophy on three occassions. To date, he has not had a victory in the Majors. His best attempts were second and third in the US Open and second in the US PGA.
Montgomerie admits that he is a professional golfer for the sole reason of making money. His priority is to finish in the money list of every tournament in which he plays. While he certainly has the ability to win a Major and indeed to rise above his contemporaries, he may never do so. He may be content to reap the financial rewards and find contentment in leading a full life outside of golf. However he must win a Major before he can raise his status to that of Faldo, Woosnam and his other European contemporaries. In spite of that, he is a valuable member of the Ryder Cup squad and has represented Europe three times already (more to come undoubtedly).
He admittedly does not practise as much as others. His swing has been criticised but he is happy with his success and therefore sees no reason to change - if it ain't broken, don't fix it ! Montgomerie is a natural golfer rather than a technician. He commented, "I don't take risks out there" which indicates that he is a safe player looking for consistency rather than dramatics. This is very sensible and has served him well.
On a personal level, Montgomerie is a private man who shys away from the fame that accompanies professional golf. His has inherited a strong will and sense of determination from his mother. He has a big heart and plays with intensity and focus. Interestingly, whenever he plays from the fairway or even a hazard, he just momentarily looks at where he wants to put the ball and immediately strikes it. Perhaps at times, he takes the game too seriously. He can be seen to be visibily irritated whenever he is not playing to the best of his abilities.
Montgomerie has a wealth of talent and is a fine ambassador for Scotland. His story is far from complete and we look forward to his first victory in the Majors which must undoubtedly come soon.