Colin Montgomerie OBE
Colin was born in Glasgow on the 23/06/1963.
It would be tempting to say that the record Colin set in winning The European Tour Order of Merit, for seven consecutive years (1993 – 1999), will never be broken. During this seven year period he was consistently accurate from tee to green, always leaving himself with a makeable putt. Colin also won The Volvo tournament (now the BMW), the European Tour’s flagship event, three years running. He won an eighth Order of Merit in 2005.
In 2000 The Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy was launched at Turnberry. This is a state of the art teaching facility which caters for golfers of all levels.
It is his achievements in The Ryder Cup for which he will be ultimately remembered. He lies second in the overall points league, however the points were accumulated in fewer matches. In singles he has never lost. In his first singles match he was 4 down with 4 to play but he won the next four holes to halve the match. Some of those singles matches were tight; Colin was always able to come up with something special to close out a match.
In 1997 at Valderrama he was in a position to win his match against Scott Hoch and the Ryder Cup for Europe. Under instruction from his captain Seve Ballesteros the match was halved. This still gave Europe a winning margin. They were destined to meet again!
In 1999 at Brookline, in a match played in testing circumstances, Colin delivered 4 points from a possible 5.
It was in 2002 at The Belfry that for three days he played at a level very few have achieved taking 4 1/2 points from a possible 5. The golfing gods decreed that in the singles he would play Scott Hoch. Going out first in the singles a totally fired up Monty crushed Hoch 5 and 4, and the first splash of blue was on the scoreboard.
In 2004 at Oakland Hills Bernhard Langer's first pair out was Padraig Harrington and Colin - match 1 to Europe. In the Friday afternoon foursomes at the eighth green Colin played a chip shot of exquisite beauty. The key to this was the ability to visualise the shot. Lying on the fringe of the green (an impossible putt) he chipped the ball into the longer grass of a slight slope, the force of the shot was stunned and coming out at 90% it rolled to within 6 inches of the hole.
On Sunday afternoon he holed the winning putt and completely justified Bernhard Langer's faith in him as one of his two wild card selections.
The statistics do not give us the full story of his part in Ryder Cup history. When he had become a more senior member of the team he was regarded as the on course leader, relied upon to steady the ship and get that all important blue on the scoreboard.
The most important aspect of The Ryder Cup is that it is a team event; all egos are left in the car park. For one week every two years only the team matters and as Colin has explained many times publicly, he is a true team player.
Colin was named Ryder Cup captain for the 2010 match at The Celtic Manor Resort, Wales. On the afternoon of Monday October 4th 2010 he held the coveted gold trophy aloft. Samuel Ryder, another great team player, would have been very proud.