• Senior Open Championship

Montgomerie targets Ryder Cup spot

ESPN staff
July 24, 2014
Colin Montgomerie has won two senior major championships since joining the Champions Tour © Getty Images

Colin Montgomerie has backed himself for a playing role in Paul McGinley's Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in September.

Montgomerie, captain in Europe's 2010 victory at Celtic Manor, has won two major championships since joining the Senior Tour and believes the over-50s could make a difference at the biennial competition.

Speaking ahead of the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl as he prepares for a historic hat-trick, Montgomerie told the Telegraph that Open champion Rory McIlroy and fellow 20-somethings should beware the veterans.

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He said: "I mentioned picking Bernhard Langer when I was captain four years ago and people told me, 'Don't be stupid!'

"But Bernhard, at 57, finished seventh in the Masters this year - and [50-year-old] Miguel Angel Jimenez finished fourth. He is a senior in contention for a place at Gleneagles.

"If Langer and I were paired together in the foursomes, we'd feel we could bring a point home for Europe," Montgomerie said. "We'd need to sit out the fourballs though - we'd be knackered.

"It was thrilling to watch Rory [McIlroy] win at Hoylake and, with Rickie Fowler battling him down the stretch, to see the 25-year-olds coming through - there's a new generation and that's great.

"But don't forget that the guys at 50 and older can still play. It is definitely a possibility for a 50-year-old-plus to play and compete."

Having won the Senior PGA Championship and the Senior US Open already this year, Montgomerie, 51, is looking to emulate Gary Player's 1988 feat of winning the three 'crossover' majors in the same season.

"It would make me very proud," he added. "I spent the weekend practising, which is not like me at all, because I feel there is a real opportunity here to do something almost unique.

"The standard of the Champions Tour has surprised me greatly with its depth and quality. There really isn't that much between the Tours.

"Tom Watson proved it at the Open in 2009 and I'm so looking forward myself to playing in the PGA Championship in a few weeks. If I can play the way I did in the last round of the Senior PGA and the first round of the US Senior Open - two 65s - then I can compete at Valhalla."

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