Monty eager to study Woods craft

Colin Montgomerie is 44 going on 45, has been in or around the higher echelons of his profession for two decades, yet still believes he has plenty to learn from his 32-year-old playing partner in today's first round of the Desert Classic. Step forward, Tiger Woods, the man who can lead the oldest dogs on a five-mile walk and teach them a few new tricks in the process.

Not that Montgomerie is an old dog ("less of the old"), but he was willing to confess yesterday that he could do with a few new tricks as he tries to put the magic back in a career that has looked rather shaggy of late. "I am 44, I still want to improve and the only way of doing that, I believe, is playing with players you feel are better than you," said the Scot. "Tiger is certainly that and I have to find out why. And learn from it."

Fortunately, Montgomerie has not asked his fellow Tour veteran Thomas Bjorn how to beat the world No 1 – the answer would probably be "you won't". Bjorn may well have gone head-to-head for four rounds with Woods here in 2001 before pulling off a famous victory (Monty has never won a tournament in which Tiger has played), but that has not stopped him from having something of an inferiority complex when it comes to the figure he calls "the greatest sporting icon in the world".

"People ask why we don't stand up to this guy," Bjorn said. "We are not as good as he is, that's why. The sooner we all accept we can only be second best, the more chance we have to live up to our potential. If you are trying to beat him, good luck. You are not going to do it. He is not going to let you."

The facts certainly back up the Dane. Woods won his first tournament of the year on Sunday in Buick by eight shots, has triumphed in six of his last seven events stretching back to last August and, in this time, has posted a remarkable average score of 66.75.

Yesterday, the message from Woods to his rivals – who, this week, include Lee Westwood, Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson – was familiarly chilling. "People ask me if is this is just a run, but I think it's improvement," he said. "That's one of the reasons I made the [swing] changes. You can see the results. And the great thing is we have a long way to go."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living