Monty's Merion Q&A

The 113th US Open is here.

Last Updated: 13/06/13 at 10:12 Post Comment

As the players prepare to tee it up at Merion GC, we put some of your questions to Sky Sports pundit and three-time US Open runner-up Colin Montgomerie, who will be analysing all of the action as it unfolds.

Check out details of our coverage by clicking here but now, without further ado, it's over to you...

Hi Monty, With Merion this year the talk is all about the length or lack of it on this golf course. With accuracy being even more important do you wish this course was on the rota when you were playing at your best? How do you think you would have fared? Thanks, Iain Swan

MONTY: Good question, Iain, and I very much wish Merion was on the US Open rota when I was playing. Hitting the fairways was my key thing at US Opens - it was a primary objective of mine - and Merion would have suited me very well indeed. It's funny how it has come back into the frame at this point in time because there are a lot of 350-yard par-fours. Nowadays you can have one or two of those on a course but four or five is quite some number.

Hi Colin, Adam Scott seems to be flying below the radar a bit coming into this week. How would you assess his chances of going for two majors in a row? Glenn Livingstone

MONTY: Adam has got a difficult draw alongside Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy but he's got a good caddie and if he can get through the first two days and still be in contention, I think he'll do very well. He's obviously holing out well with his broom-handle putter and he's full of confidence. By definition, he's the only player out there who has a chance of winning the Grand Slam this year; he's very much one of the players that people are talking about. In that respect I wouldn't say he's under the radar that much.

Hi Monty, As someone who came so close to winning the US Open on a number of occasions, which tournament do you regard as your best achievement and which do your regret most?George Taylor

MONTY: Hi George - I should have won at Congressional in 1997 because I was playing the best golf of my life, then I was afforded an opportunity to win at Winged Foot in 2006 and didn't take it. I've always loved coming over to America and I regret not giving myself enough time to prepare before the US Open - although it's easy to say that with hindsight. Perhaps I might have won one title if I'd joined the US Tour and played consistently on the Tour. But hey, you never know.

Simple one for you, sir - why has Luke Donald never finished in the top 10 in the US Open and can he break that trend this year? Luke fanatic, Edgware

MONTY: That's a good and surprising stat. This course should suit his game but I'm not convinced he's playing that well. That said, he's still capable of shooting 66 on the first day and then we'll see how he goes. I'm a very big fan of Luke's. I was very impressed with how he got to No 1 in the world; as the courses got longer and longer, he got better and better.

Hi Monty, as something of a traditionalist I'm not quite sure what to make of Merion using baskets rather than flags. What do you think of them and what's the strangest 'flag' you've seen on a golf course?Adam, Surrey

MONTY: This is as strange as it gets, Adam! The 'baskets of Merion' are actually quite large and if you hit one the ball could deflect in any number of directions, causing chaos! Of course they don't give the player an idea of where the wind is blowing, either, so you have to look at other flags around the course as opposed to the ones that should be on the green. Personally, I think the baskets are weird - I really do - and in my view they don't really have a place in golf in 2013. I think we should resort to having flags on the green.

Alright Monty, I was interested to read that you think Rory McIlroy took his eye off the ball when he was world No 1. What do you think is the biggest problem with his game right now?Tim Marshall

MONTY: To be honest, Tim, I think Rory's trying a little bit too hard to get it back. Rory doesn't need to complicate things - if he goes into the tournament swinging the club and playing golf, then he has a chance of winning. I wish he could free himself up and play the way that he did going into any event. I don't think his putting is as good as it was. He's not holing out the way he did last year, which is key - particularly when you look at how Woods has won his Majors.

Hi Monty - Sergio Garcia is my favourite player by a mile. Do you think he'll be able to put this 'fried chicken' row behind him and ever win a major? Here's hoping, Sarah

MONTY: Good question, Sarah. I heard they shook hands the other day - two grown men acting like it - and yesterday Sergio said he'd left Tiger a hand-written note. I felt sorry for Sergio in many ways, as I did for George O'Grady, the European Tour's chief executive, who got into trouble himself when he was trying to calm things down. So let's hope the whole thing is finished. I certainly think that Sergio has enough talent to win a Major - he's still only 33. If he really gets down to it, practices hard and keeps that goal at the forefront of his mind, he can win a Major.

If you were going to put a couple of quid on a nice each way outsider to win the US Open who would you go for? Ryan Saunders

MONTY: Matteo Manassero has a good all-round game and good course management skills. Just like Tiger, he's someone who doesn't have to adapt to the conditions so watch out for him and Graeme McDowell, who is very confident and leading the Race to Dubai right now. He has a great short game and can plot his way around a course exceptionally well.

Watch day one of the US Open from Merion live from 2pm on Sky Sports 2 HD this Thursday.

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