Cricket-loving Monty wants to design courses in India

February 27th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of David Beckham
By V. Krishnaswamy
Gurgaon, Feb 27 (IANS) Scotsman Colin Montgomerie is quite a legend in the Ryder Cup golf competition between Europe and United States, but guess where he draws his inspiration from? Cricket! Cricket is Montgomerie’s favourite sport, but he took to golf because he was no good at cricket. Often seen as a very high-achieving individual - eight times winner of the European Order of Merit - he has been exceptionally good in the Ryder Cup.

“I enjoy the team environment. My favourite sport is cricket, but I am just rubbish at it; I wasn’t very good. But I did enjoy playing it and enjoy watching it. It’s a team game and it can’t be done on your own. I think that’s what spills over to a Ryder Cup format, to a World Cup format to my team participation. I tend to play better in them, and I’m very comfortable in that environment,” he said.

When he began playing golf, Montgomerie never thought he would be playing in countries like India, China or Thailand. Nor did he think that the sport could grow so big in these parts. What’s more, he wants to do business and design courses in India.

He believes that there will be at least one Indian contending for the Johnnie Walker title over the weekend.

“I believe that there will be at least one Indian competing here, and I mean competing to win. It is great for the country and great for Indian sport,” he said.

Also, he revealed that he would like to design courses, play more often and even do golf-related business.

Happy at the European Tour coming to Asia, he said: “Europe’s expanded, and we’ve got bigger. In fact, I’m off to Korea in two week’s time, which I never thought was in Europe, either. I never thought we would be playing here.

“We have five tournaments in China, and two now here in India, which is superb. Let’s hope that this is the start of many more in India, as your country develops the way it is, not just in a sporting way, but in an infrastructure way, as well.”

On his own business, the Scot said: “My golf course design business is going well and I hope to design courses in India so that we can give opportunities to many, many people here.”

He was also very excited about India Inc taking to golf. “It’s interesting how corporate India is playing golf. We too have celebrities in Britain promoting golf. David Beckham is one and his celebrity charity day is golf. Tennis player Tim Henman’s charity day is a golf tournament. Then racing drivers, they all play golf besides excelling in their own fields. Kapil Dev is playing golf today, your famous cricketer.”

On the Indian challenge at the Johnnie Walker Classic, he said: “The Indian challenge is very strong. They have more opportunity now to play the game and are grabbing the opportunity and working hard at it.

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