Montgomerie nearly quit during slump


Ryder Cup hero Colin Montgomerie almost turned his back on golf as he struggled to rediscover his brilliant best.

The man who sank the putt which handed Bernhard Langer's European side a crushing victory over the Americans suffered a dreadful run-up to the competition as personal problems compounded his struggles on the course.

However, the help and support of the people around him helped to pull him through and set the stage for his latest moment of glory.

"Did retirement cross my mind? Yes, for a brief moment," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"Then I was advised not to, which is good. You need a lot of help in those situations and I had that. I had that support and I had that friendship and I had that advice, and that is vital.

"I was given two options, really. One was give up, the other one to get off your backside and do something about it and that is what I did, and it all paid dividends in the end."

As well as the support Montgomerie got from within the game, he had the backing too of people he met in the street, and that proved hugely encouraging.

"I found that (support) wherever I went, from filling up my car at the petrol station to going shopping in the supermarket to just walking down the road outside the apartment," he said.

"I felt it everywhere, not just on the golf course, and it was a super feeling to have, definitely."

Having resurrected his career with Ryder Cup victory, Montgomerie has now set himself the target of regaining his place among the golf world's elite inside the next 12 months.

"I have just got to try to get my own ranking up to where I feel it should be, at least in the top 25 in the world if not higher," he said.

"I spent 12 years of my 17 as a pro in the top 10 in the world and I want to try to get back there.

"It might take six months to a year to try to get back there at least, but that is the ambition, so every shot I hit and every putt I try to hole from now on is to try to get my ranking to where I think it should be."