Shanghai

Monty out to make real news

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 April, 2006, 12:00am

'I have been on the front pages more than the back, but that's OK'


Colin Montgomerie aims to wipe his name off the front pages and put it back in the sports sections


with victory in the US$1.8 million BMW Asian Open this weekend.


Scot's tumultuous private life has been plastered all over the tabloid press in the past few years, with


the latest saga his split this month from lover Jo Baldwin.


'I have been on the front pages more than the back, but that's OK,' Montgomerie, 42, said after


reaching into his pocket, pulling out a page of a popular British tabloid and laughing at the headline -


'Monty Lover Well Teed Off.'


'I just wouldn't mind a little bit of both ... more on the back to be honest,' he said.


According to the Sunday Mirror, Monty had a furious bust-up with Surrey mother-of-three Baldwin, who


helped him through his acrimonious marriage break-up. Monty has been spotted with glamorous


blonde TV presenter Alison Walker, who is making a documentary on the eight-times European Tour


Order of Merit winner.


'If I go out with a woman I seem to get photographed,' said the world number 16 after being blown


from pillar to post in the pro-am at the Tomson Golf Club in Shanghai yesterday. 'It's actually quite


good. As long as they are good looking, which they are, it's fine. It's just part of my deal.


'I am trying to be private but it comes out in public,' he said. 'A private life should be a little more


private than mine but you accept it for what it is and get on with it.' Montgomerie said he hadn't read


the latest saga - despite having one instalment in his pocket - and that he was unaffected by the


hoopla.


'I don't read them as a rule. It affects the people I'm with more than me because I have lived this kind of


life for the past 20 years. It affects my kids and that is the upsetting thing.


'Generally, if I'm with my children they tend to leave me alone, but you always get photographed; there


is always something. Hell, it proves I've been quite successful, I suppose.


'My little boy, Cameron, is coming up to eight and doesn't understand what is happening, but my two


daughters ]aged 10 and 13] know what's going on.'


Montgomerie is enduring one of his worst spells, having missed the last five cuts, including the


Masters.


'I've just had a bad run with the putter,' he said. 'Augusta was very disappointing - for the 14th year in


a row. I should have been vying for the lead the way I played, hitting 17 greens on the second day. But I


shoot 75 and you can't compete doing that.


'I spent a lot of time in the US and didn't make a cut in three tournaments. Sometimes it's a blessing in


disguise because it forces you to change something,' said Monty, who has gone back to the belly


putter for this week's event.


Montgomerie is pleased to be back in Asia where he has had much success - including his victory in


the UBS Hong Kong Open last December - and believes he can turn it around in Shanghai.


'I feel very comfortable here in Asia and this is the perfect platform for me to get it going again -


providing this tent doesn't blow over,' he said as the wind wreaked havoc on the pro-am. 'It's too windy


to play.'


His chances have been boosted by the defection of defending champion Ernie Els, who continues


rehabilitation on his knee. Swede Henrik Stenson, winner of the Qatar Masters in January, leads the


European Tour contingent at 15th in the world rankings.