Golf World (UK) - - Contents - Colin Montgomerie

Brushes with death, tardy time­keep­ing and his un­canny re­sem­blance to Brad Pitt... Monty opens up on the sub­jects that mat­ter.

H ow close have you come to death?

When I un­for­tu­nately crashed my car on the A80 from Stir­ling down to Glas­gow. The Ry­der Cup was in the boot so it must have been 2010. Some­body fell asleep trav­el­ling in the other di­rec­tion, came across the road and hit me head on. I thought my num­ber was up. It gives you a bit of a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive when some­thing like that hap­pens. You go home that night and count your bless­ings.

What’s your ear­li­est child­hood mem­ory?

Go­ing on the go-karts at Troon beach when I was about three. And I wanted to win! That hasn’t left me 50 years on.

Who do you most ad­mire?

Peo­ple in pub­lic of­fice who are work­ing for oth­ers. Politi­cians earn­ing in a year what a golfer might do in an af­ter­noon. Any­one who vol­un­teers and helps oth­ers, like hospi­tal staff. The peo­ple who vol­un­teer at my late mother’s foun­da­tion help­ing cancer pa­tients are amaz­ing peo­ple. These are the un­sung he­roes of the world.

Who would play you in a movie?

Brad Pitt, ob­vi­ously. If Ge­orge Clooney was busy.

Would they re­quire any spe­cial­ist train­ing?

No, none at all.

What’s your most an­noy­ing trait?

Be­ing punc­tual. I’m never late and that an­noys some peo­ple. I’ll al­ways do my ab­so­lute ut­most not to be.

If you could travel in time, would you go back­wards or for­wards?

Hav­ing seen what’s gone on be­fore, I’d like to see what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the fu­ture. But with trep­i­da­tion. When you look at ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pened in tech­nol­ogy and the way the world has changed in the last 20 years I think go­ing for­ward an­other 20 years would be enough for me.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?

(long pause) I hope not.

What scares you the most?

Flying. There’s al­ways a story when I fly. You could write a book on all the dra­mas I’ve had at air­ports and on planes.

What was your first job?

Pick­ing up range balls at Su­gar Creek Coun­try Club in Amer­ica to pay for the in­sur­ance for my car. I got paid $4 per hour and the mem­bers aimed at me when I was in the buggy driv­ing around on the range. I hated it in the win­ter be­cause the balls plugged and the cart couldn’t pick them up so you had to do it by hand us­ing a bro­ken-off shaft to dig them out the ground.

Your most em­bar­rass­ing mo­ment on the course?

I sup­pose when you shank it, be­cause you’re not sup­posed to do that, are you? I vividly re­mem­ber one when I was play­ing at East Sus­sex Na­tional in the Euro­pean Open. It flew off at right an­gles from the mid­dle of the fair­way.

How did the frosty re­cep­tion in Amer­ica when you were in your pomp af­fect you?

It was tough, no doubt. To have some­body want­ing you to do well has to be bet­ter than some­one want­ing you to fail. I reckon it could have been up to half a shot a round. Which in ma­jor terms means I’d have won four of them.

If you knew what you know now 20 years ago, do you think you’d have won reg­u­lar ma­jors?

You can’t say ‘I would have won’, but I’d have done bet­ter. I needed to get for­tu­nate to win ma­jors – there’s never been any­one who’s got un­lucky and won a ma­jor – but a lot of the time you make your own luck, and I wasn’t mak­ing my own.

If you had to give up golf or sex, which one would it be?

I love golf and I love sex.

But what if you had to give one up?

I don’t wish to give up ei­ther.

‘My ear­li­est mem­ory was go­ing on the go-karts when I was three... and want­ing to win. That hasn’t left me’

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