He may play most of his golf on the senior circuit, but Colin Montgomerie will tee off at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews this week believing he can win the event for a second time.
The 2005 champion’s recent form hasn’t just given him the confidence to believe he can win the title, the Scot also feels like his game is a fraction off the best it has ever been.
“We all know at this level if we are holing putts, we have a chance of winning,” said Monty. “I would say my game is a hairsbreadth away from my time when I was No.1 in Europe in the 90s, which is very exciting at 51.”
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The 51-year-old has won two senior majors this season - the US Senior PGA Championship and US Senior Open - plus a further two events on tour, and currently sits top of the European Senior Tour order of merit.
"I am still the course record holder at Carnoustie, I’ve won at St Andrews and I’ve shot 64 at Kingsbarns." - Colin Montgomerie
Given his excellent debut season in the senior ranks, the 2010 Ryder Cup winning captain is full of optimism heading into the Dunhill Links.
“To win four times is great, especially the two in America,” said the Montgomrie. “That was big for me, to finally win two majors. It’s been a long time in the making.
“I’ve got my confidence back again and I’m holing putts. I’m really looking forward to the Alfred Dunhill Links. I will go into it thinking I can win.”
“I’ve always enjoyed playing in the event. I am still the course record holder at Carnoustie, I’ve won at St Andrews and I’ve shot 64 at Kingsbarns. Put that lot together, of course I have a chance .”
Colin Montgomerie relishing links conditions
With a driving average of 275-yards, Colin Montgomerie acknowledges that he can’t power his way to glory at the Dunhill Links. However, he feels that fast running links of St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns will work to his advantage.
“On links courses, going up against these young guys, length tends to fade in importance,” said Montgomerie. “We feel that we can compete against the best players in the world on a links course compared to a softer American style 8,000-yard’ golf course.”