Colin Montgomerie is targeting a dream victory at the Senior Open with Europe’s major set to get under way at Sunningdale Golf Club in England from July 22-25.
The eight-time European Tour No. 1 would not only become the first Scot since Brian Barnes in 1996 to win the Senior Open with a victory this week, but would also earn an exemption into The 150th Open, which takes place at St Andrews in 2022.
Montgomerie is joined at Sunningdale by defending champion Bernhard Langer, who won a record fourth title at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2019, and fellow Ryder Cup captains Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk, who both make their Championship debuts this week along with Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, Germany’s Alex Cejka and four-time major champion Ernie Els.
There are a total of 12 major champions in the field this week, including Open winners Darren Clarke, Paul Lawrie and Tom Lehman, Masters Champions Jose Maria Olazabal and Ian Woosnam, as well as past Senior Open winners Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul Broadhurst and Russ Cochran.
“I talked to Tim Petrovic and a few of the Americans and Jerry Kelly and guys that haven’t been to Sunningdale before and a few of them have played Pine Valley which was ranked No. 1 in the world and they have for 20 years and they compare it to that,” said Montgomerie. “It’s in better condition than it was for The Open qualifying or European Open we’ve played here in the past. It’s beginning to get a little bit fiery now which is perfect. I think that’s what they want and it’s all set for a fantastic weekend.
“The biggest achievement I’ve ever had was winning just down the road at Wentworth three times in a row. That was my biggest achievement, to win the BMW PGA as it is now, in 1998, 1999, 2000.
“To win here at 58 against a lot of good 50-year-olds would be right up there. The three Wentworth trophies take pride of place in the trophy cabinet and this one would be right beside them, I assure you. It certainly is on our radar that the winner here gets to St Andrews next year, which everybody wants to play.”