Colin Montgomerie has at least two compelling reasons to win this week’s Volvo China Open.
Europe’s next Ryder Cup Captain would dearly love to win at the Beijing CBD International Golf Club to win a place at the inaugural Volvo World Match Play Championship as well as show his potential Ryder Cup players that their Captain can still succeed at the very highest level.
“My game is not too bad,” said the Scotsman, who has won twice in China at the Macau Open and the TCL Classic. “I just have to cut out the mistakes. I never used to make mistakes and now I am making too many mistakes. The birdies are still there but there are far too many mistakes.
“I am making about 16 birdies a tournament but also making around 16 mistakes a tournament and I am trying to cut them out. I’m a bit like Chelsea: I am scoring four goals but letting four goals in as well! But I am looking forward to getting out there and trying to win the tournament because the winner here gets a fantastic invitation to the Volvo World Match Play Championship and I would like that to be me.
“It’s also very important to show the Ryder Cup players that I am still competing. I have always thought that it is very important for the players to have the respect of their Captain.
“If I start and keep winning in this 18 month period before The Ryder Cup I think it would be important for the players to know that they have a Captain that is competing at the very top level. I would love to show the players and prove to them that I am still capable of winning at the highest level.”
While Montgomerie was looking to the future, he was reminded of his glorious past at the Volvo China Open when he was presented with a unique trophy as the all-time leading money winner of the Volvo Masters.
Montgomerie featured in all 21 editions of the Volvo Masters, winning twice and featuring in the top ten on 12 occasions. That spectacular record made Montgomerie the leading money winner in the event’s history, enabling Volvo Event Management’s President and CEO, Per Ericsson, to present Montgomerie with his trophy on the eve of the Volvo China Open.
There are 156 players in the field at the Beijing CBD International Golf Club hoping to be presented with the Volvo China Open trophy on Sunday.
Among the favourites is last year’s champion Damien McGrane, who returns to the Beijing CBD International Golf Club in good form and hoping to mount a successful title defence after his impressive nine-stroke victory in appalling final round conditions last year.
“Playing today in the pro-am brought back a lot of the memories of last year in terms of what clubs I hit, what kind of positions I was getting into,” said McGrane. “The biggest difference from last year is that the greens are a lot firmer. The surfaces are just as good and the course is in great condition, but the ground is a lot firmer which makes the greens harder and faster so it is difficult to hold them but the conditions will change from day to day so we will see what the week brings.”
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