Colin Montgomerie won 31 times in his European Tour career, but never a major and never in the United States. He's famous for letting several majors slip, including the 1995 PGA Championship and '97 U.S. Open.
Now that he's playing among the 50-plus set, however, Monty sees his peers (and presumably himself) choking a whole lot less often.
“At senior level I’ve seen a lot less fear of winning and yet there was a fear of winning on the main tour," Montgomerie said at the MCB Tour Championship on the European Senior Tour, according to Matt Cooper. "No one throws it away out here. We think, We might as well just go and do it. So the standard of play is very high because of that mentality. You can’t rely on others to make bogeys; you’ve got to keep making birdies.”
Monty referred to his chance to break through on the Champions Tour in San Antonio in October.
"I was two ahead with nine to play, played the back nine in level par and was overtaken by two men," Montgomerie said. "Level par on these events is not good enough and it usually was on the main tour.”
Several of Monty's peers backed up the assessment, suggesting they have learned to be confident with the skills they have rather than trying to force themselves to play a way that makes them uncomfortable. It's that kind of unconscious thinking that leads to a more relaxed style of play and more success.
Learn more about preparation, confidence and mental toughness in golf in this week's 19th Hole Golf Show podcast with sports psychologist Dr. Rob Bell. And see a great impression of Monty at Golf Central Daily!
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