Colin Montgomerie returns to the site of his first victory in a Ryder Cup this week, competing in the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, host venue of the 1995 edition of the biennial contest.
Montgomerie, who made his third appearance for Europe in 1995, was a member of the defeated sides of 1991 at Kiawah Island and 1993 at The Belfry. The Scotsman earned two points as Europe won just their second Ryder Cup on American soil.
“It’s amazing coming back to these venues,” said Montgomerie. “The memories flood out, even driving into the car park here at Oak Hill brought back memories of our celebrations there with Prince Andrew.
“I remember the celebrations on the 18thgreen and Seve (Ballesteros) talking to Bernard Gallacher and (Nick) Faldo behind the green and I was sitting behind them.
“It was the first time I’d won a Ryder Cup as a team member. It was the first time I’d been on a winning team, and it was a much better feeling than it was on a losing one.
“I played Ben Crenshaw in the singles. He was the Masters champion at the time and managed to finish with a few birdies. I birdied 14, 16 and 17 to get my point and help the cause.
“It brings back huge memories of what a great golf course this is. You forget how demanding a golf course it is. Everyone is saying you’d take level par right now, being a par of 70, you’d take that right now and run.”
Montgomerie is no stranger to success in this event, becoming the first European to win back-to-back Championships in 2014 and 2015.
“People may have a different view about the Staysure Tour or the PGA Tour Champions or even the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. I said to Suzy (Whaley, PGA of America President) and to Jeff Fettig of KitchenAid: This feels like a Major Championship. I don’t mean a Senior Major Championship, I mean a Major Championship.
“You couldn’t not agree. My first win in 2014 really felt like a Major Championship and this will, too.”