Colin Montgomery: European tour's 'whole reset' 'upset'

Colin Montgomery says it is very sad to see a European tour with prize money of less than m 1 million to return to a small-scale tournament.

The 56-year-old Scott, who won a record eight orders, described the tour's proposed schedule as a "total reset".

But he doesn't want to see this year's Ryder Cup in Wisconsin, and when he captained a decade ago, the owners of the tour said the European success was "largely due to financial difficulties." Time.

Montgomery, the most prolific British winner on the European tour with 31 tours, is now playing on the Veteran Champions Tour in the United States. He has strong reservations about returning there during the current civil unrest and coronavirus crisis.

'I'm Feeling for Young People'

He welcomed the start of the European Tour Season re-umption in July, including two tournaments with six events at Celtic Manor in British Swing Wales, where he led Europe to a stunning victory in 2010.

"It's brilliant," he told BBC Sport. “I know the prize money is not what they expect, but membership to play golf.

“It was a total reset and I think for the young guys who thought they had to play for millions.

"It will be a few years before we get back to that period. The likes of Ken Schofield, George O'Grady, and now Keith Pelle worked very hard to create this European Tour.

"It's a shame that all tour hierarchies stop it."
The first of the British Masters' six tournaments at the Close House, which began on July 22, each brought a total of 90 890,000 prizes to the European Tour.

"The Rolex series of events are playing for $ 7m (£ 5.5m). My god, it's a full year in our day," said Montmorency

"Is this a reset 10-15 years ago?"

Back in 2010, the European tour was also under financial pressure and he was aware of the difficulties of senior officials as Ryder Cup captain.

"Richard Hills, who is the director and chief executive of Ryder Cup, George O'Grady, held meetings and told me: 'This is important, a big win for the European Ryder Cup team.'

"It kept us, sponsors, I wouldn't say there was no increase, but at least the 10s kept us sponsors away from us at the time of the 2008 financial crisis.

"And that's too bad. So I want to get this tour in the financial sense."

The return of the Ryder Cup to odd years has advantages

While he hates playing this year's Ryder Cup without an audience in September, he admits that the financial implications of the Whistling Straits match can be played without fans.

While he was captain, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won a crucial victory over Hunter Mahan.

"Imagine Graeme McDowell hooking up at the age of 16, and only someone is watching the sheep clapping," says Montgomery. “No, no, that’s not true.

"But these are extraordinary times and I think the extraordinary rules and laws apply. It's a shame if the economy decides to play behind the closed doors of the Ryder Cup."

Montgomery saw the benefits of delaying the match and returning in the odd years, saying it would ease the now-busy schedule.

"Four majors, the Olympics, and the Ryder Cup. It's a hell of a year. It's a lot," he said. "It would be nice to see the Ryder Cup go back to a strange year."

'I'll go east instead of America'

Celtic Manor will perform the Celtic Classic on August 13-16, and open the following week in Wales.

Recalling his role in invading Europe a decade ago, he smiled the same course: "I'm a respectable Welshman. I'm not like that. I think it's great that they go back there."

With the lockdown ban lifted, Montgomery is playing the occasional nine-hole round at the Wisley Club in Surrey and Wentworth, and he continues to hit the ball into the practice net, pitching in his back garden.

"It's hard," he said. "I tried to get up later because it was like Groundhog Day. It was like being on vacation. I lost track of days."

The Scotsman plane from Surrey has not rushed to return to the Champions Tour in the United States and the country is unhappy with the way it is fighting a coronavirus outbreak.

"We don't expect to get into aircraft, especially the US," he said. “To be honest, I want to go east.

"This is the way Americans think. In European countries, we are much tougher than Americans.

"They were the first to close and open their country. I don't feel right."

Montgomery will be looking closely when the PGA Tour reopens next Thursday at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. “They are guinea pigs, PGA Tours,” he said.

"Our Champions Tour starts six weeks later and we can learn from it as we walk. The European Tour can learn the same."

If he does not return to playing with his old stance, he will seek a permanent invitation to join a field at the Celtic Manor.

"I would love to play there again," he quipped before quivering, "I want Monty Tees. All fours have to be within 400 yards.

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