TROON, United Kingdom: Local boy Colin Montgomerie declared on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) it was an honor to be teeing up first in this week’s 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon.
The 53-year-old Scot — who is one of the best golfers never to win a major — will lead out golf’s oldest major at 6.35am (0535GMT) Thursday and on a golf course he’s been a member since 1981 when he turned 18-years of age.
The eight-time European Tour Number One had hit his first golf shot at age six on the kids course at Troon where the TV compound for this week’s championship is temporarily located.
In fact, Montgomerie is residing this week in his father’s house located less than 100-yards from the opening tee, and with his father, James, having been a long-time former Secretary of Royal Troon
“It’s a great honor to be teeing off first, hitting the very first tee shot of the 145th Open at your own course,” said Mongomerie, who on three occasions finished runner-up in the US Open including once in a threeway play-off with Ernie Els and Loren Roberts which the former won.
“My goal this week is to attempt to walk down the 18th fairway on Sunday. That’s the goal. Anything beyond that, would be a bonus,” said Mongomerie.
Montgomerie qualified for his 22nd Open Championship, and his first since 2010, after securing a place at the recent Open qualifier at the nearby Gailes Golf Club.
He made his Royal Troon debut in 1997 finishing tied for 24th place and then in 2004 he shared 25th place.