Published: 06:00, 30 July 2019
| Updated: 12:36, 30 July 2019
Colin Montgomerie has hailed London Golf Club as 'exceptional' ahead of his return to the venue this week.
Montgomerie, the 2010 winning Ryder Cup captain, is one of several big names gearing up for the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship which begins on Thursday.
The 56-year-old set a new course record at the London Club last year and can't wait to be back.
Scroll down to hear from Colin Montgomerie
"I’m looking forward to it very much," said Montgomerie. "It was the inaugural event last year, it worked extremely well and being four days gives it the kudos and prestige that some of the events don’t have.
"I think the 72 holes worked very well. The weather was extraordinarily good and this year we’ve got an even better field when you talk about Shaun Micheel playing, the PGA champion and Paul Lawrie, the Open champion. It’s getting stronger every year.
"I hadn’t played the international course before at the London Club and I was very impressed with that.
"I was impressed by the facilities for the players and the facilities for spectators. It was an exceptional event and that’s why I’m playing again."
That start in 2018 means it's already a course which holds fond memories for the man who won the European Tour Order of Merit seven years running between 1993 and 1999.
"The first day was good!" Montgomerie said. "The second, third and fourth didn’t go according to plan but the first day was up there with one of the best rounds of the year.
"Whenever you score 63, it’s a day out. The putter was hot and I’m looking forward to trying to do well again.
"The standard of the Staysure Tour is improving every year. As I get older, the new guys by definition get younger but as long as I’m in contention on the Saturday night, I’ll be delighted."
Montgomerie says he's loving life on the senior circuit.
"It’s really interesting and very competitive – in America especially," he said. "You’re playing against people who were once No.1 in the world or past major champions, very strong fields indeed and I’m really enjoying it.
"I really do believe it’s the best circuit in the world. You talk about the European Tour and the US Tour but this has got everything because it’s relaxed before and after but when the gun goes on Thursday morning, it’s very competitive and game on. It’s a super place to play.
"I was watching a British Open preview and Fred Couples was playing with Bernhard Langer. They recently played the last round together at Firestone Country Club, I was there myself, and that was 1984, the Open at St Andrews so that’s 35 years ago and they’re still competing together now! Very few sports can say that so we’re fortunate.
"The rivalries continue – my rivalries with Langer, Faldo, Larrazabal, Lyle and Woosnam.
"When you add in the likes of Vijay Singh, Stricker, some of the top Americans, it’s amazing and now we’ve got Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie coming through so the rivalries continue.
"It’s great you can still be competitive with the guys you used to be competitive with many years ago."
Montgomerie's schedule takes him all over the world but he admits it's nice to be back on home soil.
"It’s lovely to be here," he said. "I’ve had The Open, now I’ve got the Senior Open, the Staysure PGA and then I’ve got a week off.
"It’s lovely having a month where I’m not leaving Britain and I'm enjoying myself thoroughly. It’s nice to have a break.
"I can stay at home during the Staysure PGA and drive over to the London Club. It’s a great week and I so look forward to it."
More by this authorSteve Tervet
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