• Awkward exchange follows: "I'll take British. It beats English"
• The 52-year-old criticised Olympic and BMW PGA withdrawals
Colin Montgomerie was involved in an awkward exchange with a journalist ahead of the Senior PGA Championship after he was referred to as ‘English’.
The 52-year-old, who has won the past two Senior PGA Championships, didn’t take too kindly to the question posed in relation to the Olympics. Here’s what was said:
Q: Now the Olympics comes into play which is becoming a concern for many different reasons. In your mind, being English, is it important, would it be important –
Q: I like English or better?
Monty: Are you American, Mexican, or Canadian?
Q: How about British?
Monty: British is fine. I'll take British. I'll take British. It beats English.
Once that was cleared up, Montgomerie – who played a key role in golf’s return to the Olympics by visiting the IOC headquarters in Switzerland with ex-R&A chief Peter Dawson and Annika Sorenstam – heavily criticised those who won’t be playing in Rio.
"I think it's fabulous that golf is returning to Olympic games,” said Colin Montgomerie. “I'm staggered by the fact that some have decided that it's not for them. You might be world champion or you might be PGA champion or you might be the Masters champion or whatever, but Olympic champion, you're Olympic champion for life.
"I think that to take the opportunity is golden in every way and I can't understand why some people have said that it's not for them, I really can't. It's another golf tournament – get on with it. A lot of them fly privately down there for goodness sake, you know, it's not as if it's a big deal.
“I just can't fathom it. A hell of a lot of work was done to try and get golf in the Olympic Games and it's beyond me to think that people won't compete. Can't understand it.”
The Scot also weighed in with his thoughts on this week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, a tournament he won three years in a row from 1998 to 2000. Only four of the world’s top 30 are competing in the European Tour’s flagship event, something which he isn’t best impressed about.
"I'm surprised that a number of top Europeans aren't playing,” he added. “Not many, if any, don't compete at TPC Sawgrass. I really, for the life of me, I don't understand why top Europeans – probable Ryder Cup players – whatever, this year especially, aren't competing at Wentworth. I don't understand that.”
Colin Montgomerie :: Do you agree with him?
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