Colin Montgomerie took time out during the Pro-Am Wednesday morning to wish Luke Donald well in his quest for a record-equalling third title in a row at the BMW PGA Championship.
Montgomerie, an eight-time European Tour Number One, was dominant on Wentworth Club’s iconic West Course en route to three wins in a row at this event between 1998 and 2000, during which time he also picked up a World Match Play Championship crown at the same venue in 1999.
However, the Scot, who makes his 25th consecutive appearance at the BMW PGA Championship this week, seemed relaxed at the prospect of having this achievement matched by Donald.
He said: “I wish him well, I know how difficult that was, but obviously these things are there to be equalled or broken.
“It's a great thing to try and achieve, in our flagship event, and to try and win anything three times in a row is something that he should be very proud of."
Donald has history in his sights thanks to two consecutive West Course triumphs in 2012 and 2013, the last of which came last year when he overcame Justin Rose on a tense final day shootout, while 12 months previously he also came out on top after extra holes against Lee Westwood, a feat that saw the Englishman claim the World Number One ranking for the first time in his career.
Montgomerie, who was playing alongside Sir Clive Woodward, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Stephen Redgrave in the Wednesday Pro-Am, had some ideas on what the characteristics were that have suited him, and indeed Donald, on the challenging layout over the years.
“I kept the ball in play, as he has done,” said Montgomerie, who captained Donald and Team Europe in The 2010 Ryder Cup. “We play a very similar game to be honest. I wouldn't say it is overpowering in any way, but you've got to work the ball round here, you can't just blast it.
“And that's why you've got to be thinking a Poulter, a McDowell or a Donald, a man that can work the ball, will do well, and why it has always favoured someone like myself."
However, as the Scot approached his ball some 40 yards short of the par four 16th green, on his penultimate hole of the day, he was philosophical about his chances of a fourth BMW PGA Championship title this week at Wentworth.Clearly amused by the suggestion, and laughing throughout his response, he said: “I’m here in two shots on 16 and we’re talking a long way from the green. So I think that says it all.”