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Friday
Feb172017

Monty's Back! Wouldn't Trade His Career For Tiger's And How Technology Deprived Tiger Of Majors

It wasn't all about Monty. In fact, he said some pretty interesting stuff about the de-skilling of elite level golf due to technology, which was once a concern of the governing bodies (they even put it in writing!).

Speaking to golf.com's Michael Bamberger, who wisely just turned on his tape recorder and let Colin Montgomerie talk. After reminding us repeatedly that he predicted Tiger's success at the 1997 Masters--he was villified!--Monty offered this assessment of technology and Woods.

“What might Woods have done had the game never moved off the balata ball and the wooden wood? Many golf fans would say he would have won less. I believe he would have won far more. He has the 14 majors. Without the equipment changes, I believe he’d have well into his 20s now. Because now everybody has clubs where they can do what he could do.

“Two others lost out hugely to technology. Greg Norman was one. He was the best driver of the ball with the wooden club ever. He lost out when drivers went to metal and suddenly we could do what he did. He lost his asset. And the other was Seve. When Ping developed its L-wedge, with box grooves, we could suddenly do what Seve could do with a 52° club. He lost his asset too. Tiger had all that, in spades. And then we were given equipment that allowed us to do what he could do."

But driving distances are steady, so all is well.

The line that is getting all the attention.

“I never won a major. Tiger won 14. But would I trade my career for Tiger’s? No. I started out this game a pretty good golfer and finished in the Hall of Fame. I feel I have overachieved. So how could I say I wish it were better? People will say, `Well, he didn’t win a major.’ And, yes, I would have liked to shut them up by winning one. But that’s my only regret, really. Great that I have won senior majors, which has quieted the odd person.

Odd, indeed.

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Reader Comments (47)

Very insightful and astute analysis, yet the focus will be on the 1 comment that people will use to bash Monty. I do urge everyone to read it in its entirety.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterConvert
Excellent observations by Monty. His conclusions really do settle the argument about best player ever, clearly Tiger.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBuckingham Palace
As a proud American I have this to say: the Professional televised game is MUCH better when he is in the booth. He's intelligent and well spoken and offers thoughtful analysis to every broadcast he works.That said it's his life and cashing checks while traveling the world playing the Champions Tour seems as though he has things figured out pretty well without my input.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCroDad
On the money.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
As a proud American I have this to say: the Professional televised game is MUCH better when he is in the booth. He's intelligent and well spoken and offers thoughtful analysis to every broadcast he works.That said it's his life and cashing checks while traveling the world playing the Champions Tour seems as though he has things figured out pretty well without my input.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCroDad
crodad +1.5

Monty is darn good. period.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Ye gods! Well said! I met him once ... so polite ... to the point of almost being childlike. Way to tell it like it is, man!
Monty is like good wine. He's more enjoyable as he ages.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
Take that, R & A and USGA!
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
I'll pile on with the crowd here. Monty is always insightful. Hard to argue with anything he says.

I'm a fan of him in the booth as well. Would like to catch him more often.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
Buckingham Palace

Tiger was good in his day, very good indeed - however to call him the best is perhaps a stage too far - my money would be on Young Tommy Morris.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris
Played with Tiger as a kid. Tied with 4 to play in big junior event. I parred the last four and lost by 4. Watched him hit a high cut with a balata ball using a persimmon 3-wood, 265 yards, uphill to a well bunkered green. Flew it all the way there. He was 16. He was doing things I still can't explain, and haven't seen people do since.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOld Junior Golfer
Old Junior:

Great insight baseball. That's one of the reasons I love this blog, for nuggets like yours.

As for Monty, I'm a big fan (of him as a broadcaster).
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSari
Monty is right to some extent. Equipment variations in a sport reshuffle the skill set at the highest level. The small time Tiger had a solid ball and all the Titleist guys were still playing balata he lapped the field. Looking back it now appears Tiger was his own worst enemy with all the swing changes. He lost a lot of opportunities because his "new" swing wasn't fully automatic. He did this to himself more than once. One of the most surprising things was that he never came from behind to win a major.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
I saw Monty at the Scottish Amateur at Nairn in '87. He couldn't have been nicer, but of course, he was winning. I've also seen him pretend to talk on his cellphone so he wouldn't have to stop to sign autographs for kids. He has always been a pain in the arse when things aren't going his way.

I agree with a lot of what he says, but to claim he wouldn't swap his zero majors career for Tiger's 14 is just silly.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Norrie
I love the fact the Monty speaks his mind. He and Phil Mickelson are two of the few who are worth listening to when they talk. Also, I think the "line that's getting all of the attention" is wonderful. He's being honest and he isn't comparing his career to Tiger's. Difficult to find fault.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSchlasser
Any person that gets to a certain age has to learn to make peace and accept there they have found themselves in life - or what options do you have ? Monty appears to have done this and is enjoying his life. He is great on TV, I'll have to say when they go to him on set or whatever, it makes you stop and listen. Tons of credibility and a good delivery.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Always liked Monty. Though he was badly treated here in the states. Was happy when he scored the winning point in the Rider Cup. Justice was served...
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTLB
Nice one Jupiter. I like that.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
There are plenty of Sky Sports viewers in the UK that will gladly let you have Monty in your booth; for good, forever & ever. If he's not talking about his career, Ryder Cup, Order of Merits etc he's brown nosing Jack on The Masters broadcast.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames
Zero majors and an ambulatory man about golf or 14 majors and a crippled recluse?

I agree with Monty.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
Read the article last night. Good read and some nice insight.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Monty is a really bright guy and funny as heck at times. His work with GC during the US Open at #2 was just superb. He's honest and appropriately critical without coming off as a jerk. Funny how popular he's become in the States...
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPops
Monty seems good to Americans behind the mike, because most of theirs are so bad.

@James +1
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I still remember his press conference at Augusta in '97. Great stuff and people got angry with him, they just did not get the joke. I think he does well on Sky, better than most.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKG
@Backside-only when Nance and McCord are on. And your blog name is very appropriate may I say.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
EW +1

backslide -1
02.17.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Monty is very entertaining, and his swing is virtually unchanged in 20 years.
02.17.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Monty is like a chubbier Poulter. Both true gentlemen. The kind of guys you'd want to go drinking with
"Monty is like good wine. He's more enjoyable as he ages." +1

Enjoyed watching Monty's rhythmic swing. Obviously he was a very talented player and he always seemed to swing within himself - he employed a long, fluid, and very accurate golf swing. He is also very astute as a golf commentator.

Interesting comment about Tiger / Persimmon & Balata / vs. players and forgiving equipment & longer golf ball. He might well be on to something here. Then again, TW was one of the first to go to a 5-piece ball (note his 15 shot win at Pebble / U.S. Open in 2000).

Would enjoy sharing a pint or two with Monty.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPro From Dover
This Montie impression is really on the mark:

https://youtu.be/6eWNW0bbDFs
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
I always liked Monty, even though he is sometimes his worst enemy. I remember watching him in the playoff in '94 at Oakmont with Els and Loren Roberts (!). Sunny, high 90s, high humidity and he wore a black outfit. Must have cooked. Watching him now in his appearances on GC during majors he is wonderful to listen to. Having him in the booth for 3-4 hours might get tiresome, I don't know. I enjoy him as they are using him now (as a "pundit" I suppose) and would like to hear him more often.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGreg B.
I enjoy him on television - matured much better than Faldo in that regard.

Remember a number of years ago during a press conference Monty stating that there had been many great players who did have a major.

A journo followed up with "name them" - The response was crickets.

It's a good defensive mechanism kicking in when he says he wouldn't switch careers with Woods. But, I believe he would switch.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
Whoops, sorry ... "DIDN'T have a major ..."
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
It is too bad Monty never won his Major, so that comment could have been stopped. He was, and is, a fine player...he has a beautiful swing, and he has repeated it for many years. As to whether he would change careers with Tiger, well, that is a bit of a stretch. He might not want to trade lives with TW, but career totals?

I enjoy his work on TGC, and unfortunately have never been able to watch the Sky broadcasts so I can't have an opinion.He speaks clearly and articulately, and gives his opinions, Not everyone will agree with what he says, but that's fine...it should be appreciated. Those who disagree should be welcomed to disagree.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
Mr. Doubtfire is on fire!
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
''dweez'' take your trolling elsewhere. We don't like personal insults here. Call upstairs to mom for breakfast; the basement surely is getting a bit damp by now.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Digs, well said. EW, keep 'em coming my friend. Always thoughtful.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPops
Have to bring up 2 examples as the antithesis of Monty: Paul Azinger.
A few years ago, the telecast shows Sergio hitting a drive. Azinger spent about a minute pointing out everything Garcia "does wrong" with his swing. As soon as Azinger finally shut up, a graphic appeared showing Garcia as being #1 in Total Driving. Classic.

The other occurred a couple years ago during the telecast of The Open. There was a rules dispute with somebody's ball in a bunker. Azinger was incredulous about a ruling and as fate would present herself, ABC had the head of rules for the R&A in booth. The guy explained the ruling. And Zinger having none of it, arguing for a couple segments.

Ignorant and opinionated. Apparently we Americans love the combination because we elected one who possesses both in spades our newest president.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCrawDad
You are all far too kind to Colin 'superinjunction' Montgomerie.
02.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

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