The new side of Colin Montgomerie

Monty laughs. And the world laughs with him.

The new side of Colin Montgomerie

I’m going to make a confession. It’s not a radical opinion and I’m sure a lot of you will agree. I don’t like Colin Montgomerie. Well, that’s not strictly true anymore. I didn’t like Colin Montgomerie.

Like many people, I always found the Scot’s demeanour to be generally cantankerous and sour-faced. The man made millions from his favourite sport – something us mere mortals can only dream of – but nothing seemed to make him happy.

Until October.

Monty had made it clear for many years that he was desperate to be Europe’s Ryder Cup captain. We all know what happened at Celtic Manor. Before the competition, he had me worried. ‘Concentrate on the golf!’ I screamed in this very column. ‘We don’t care if the changing room doors are the wrong way round!’

Speaking at the Golf Live launch event at City Golf on Wednesday, the 47-year-old let eager listeners into a few little secrets. “There are a lot of things behind the scenes you might not be aware of,” he started. “I looked at the rooms and thought they weren’t big enough, so we all got connecting rooms.

“Then on the Saturday morning we got a removal company in and they brought six-foot beds and took the five-foot beds out. We were on the ninth floor and the Americans were on the eighth floor, but they didn’t know about it.

“We also had six physio beds put up on that floor and there were tailors up there as well to make sure all the outfits fitted. It was all laid on. You have one hit at this and I wanted to get it right.”

Thankfully it did go right, because if it hadn’t, this is where we’d be pointing fingers; pitchforks at the ready. And the victory has made the world of difference to Montgomerie’s persona.

“I was told when I lifted the Ryder Cup, I was to keep my hand on the lid as it was loose,” he continued. “‘Well fix it,’ I said. ‘Today’s been going quite well so far!’” 

We laughed, but every time I will see him lifting the trophy I’ll be thinking, ‘That lid’s stuck on with Blu-tack.’ And now, thanks to me, so will you. Sorry about that.

The banter didn’t stop there. When introducing our new national treasure, BBC’s Iain Carter said: “Please welcome your Ryder Cup-winning captain…”

“And world number four hundred and eight!” laughed Monty, quick as a flash. The room chuckled with him, a hint of surprise in the air.

I remember a long time ago seeing former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf being heckled on a popular sport-based quiz show. The Frenchman sat back in his chair nonchalantly and said: “I don’t care what you say. I won the World Cup.”

It will always grate our Colin that he never won a Major. But all of that goes out the window now he’s a Ryder Cup-winning captain which, in his own words, was an accomplishment he was born to achieve. So what next? Arise, Sir Monty?

Well, I wouldn’t argue.

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