Last Updated: August 8, 2012 4:34pm
The last major of the season is almost here.
A total of 156 players - including the top 103 ranked players in the world - will tee it up at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on Thursday as the 94th US PGA Championship gets underway.
As part of the build-up, skysports.com offered you the chance to pick the brains of Colin Montgomerie, who will be part of the Sky Sports commentary team out in the US.
Here's how Monty - who finished second in the 1995 US PGA Championship four years after battling to a famous half against Mark Calcavecchia in the Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island - answered the best of your questions...
Dear Monty, It was great to hear Luke Donald say that he is inspired by Team GB's success at the Olympics. Just wondered if any sporting event has ever helped lift your golf and how you think golf will do in the Olympics? Sue, London
MONTY: Hi Sue, that's a good question! I think every golfer's spirits were lifted when Seve won the Open Championship in 1984. Away from golf, it was inspiring to watch Bjorn Bjorg win five Wimbledons in a row from 1976 - a player performing at the peak of his powers. Looking forward, I think golf's inclusion in the Olympics will help to raise the sport's global profile - that's the whole reason behind it. Golf is obviously already well-established in America and Europe, but through the Olympics it will gain a whole new audience and prominence that it has never had.
Hi Monty, You obviously have memories of Kiawah Island from the Ryder Cup in '91. What was the atmosphere really like to play in and what was your thought process over the last four holes playing Calcavecchia; particularly the 17th? Iain Swain
MONTY: It was actually extremely difficult, Iain. I'd played in two Walker Cups but I didn't appreciate just how intense the Ryder Cup was. I was unfortunate to be part of it when this 'War on the Shore' and 'Desert Storm' business was going on and the word I would use to describe what it was like back then is 'hostile'. It was a real worry for the game of golf, to be honest, so I just tried to concentrate and put all of that behind me. Those last few holes against Calcavecchia will be mentioned and shown on TV no doubt and on reflection I actually did okay; it wasn't easy but at the same time it was difficult to see a competitor four-up with four to play.
I knew I still had a chance and so it proved; it just goes to show that every point or half a point is vital in the Ryder Cup. That half a point allowed Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer to continue, whereas if I had lost that game it would have been gone. The same happened with Edoardo Molinari and Rickie Fowler in the last Ryder Cup when Rickie won the last four holes, and allowed Hunter Mahan to keep going.
The 17th was one of the most dramatic holes of match play golf that you will ever, ever see. It was like amateur hour, I'm afraid, but at the same time it's amazing what the pressure can do. Calcavecchia had the whole of North Carolina to hit it into but he hit it in the wrong place. As a fellow competitor, I can say it was sad, really, to see him do that.
Hi Colin, Do you think it will be the players who hit it straight and keep it out of trouble this week that contend or do you think the attack-minded players making lots of birdies will be upfront? As you made your Ryder Cup debut there in 1991, what was your favourite hole? Thanks, Chris, Manchester
MONTY: My favourite hole was the 10th - a short par-four. You drive down the right-hand side and hit a wedge in. The green is very well shaped and the hole gives a great definition. I think that now that they've changed the grasses on the course that you can be more attack-minded; the grasses have changed from a very fast running Bermuda grass to a much softer grass, which means you can attack the course a lot more than you used to.
Hi Monty, I really enjoy your commentary at all the big events. How do you think the top Europeans Donald, Rory and Westwood will fare? Also, how do you think Tiger will do? Sam Lewis
MONTY: This Ocean Course is a big course, so I'd have to put McIlroy and Westwood ahead of Donald, unfortunately. They'll be able to attack certain pins - particularly those hidden behind slopes - with greater ease because of the height that they hit the ball into the greens. That gives them a big advantage. As for Tiger, I think he'll contend again but he's got to be more aggressive than he was at The Open, where he was playing for third place. His was a very negative performance at The Open, I felt, but here he's got to come out and attack if he's going to have a chance of winning.
Dear Monty, With non-Europeans winning the last four majors, is the tide turning away from Europe and back to USA and the rest of the world? Ashley
MONTY: I think it is, Ashley, I think it is. I'm sorry to say that but we're not quite as dominant at the top of the rankings as we were and it would appear that unfortunately things are changing. It will be very interesting to see how the Ryder Cup pans out. If the Ryder Cup started tomorrow, I wouldn't like to hear the result - particularly with Europe playing away from home. We've got to start getting things going again in the next month, so it would be great to have European success here. That would give everybody a boost.
Monty, I just wondered if you could pass on my best wishes to Roger Chapman. I don't expect he'll get much coverage but for us Seniors he is a huge inspiration and proof that you should never give up on that dream! Andy, Edinburgh
MONTY: You're right, Andy - never give up on that dream! It's been incredible to see Roger with two majors on the Seniors Tour; he's done marvellously well and I can't wait to see him and congratulate him because I think he's done brilliantly, I really do. All credit to him. It does prove why this game of golf is so good; if you stick with it you never know what you might achieve.
Colin, What do you think the outcome will be regarding the debate over long putters? For me the issue seems to be more how they are used as opposed to the length of putter. Anchoring it to ones chest, chin, belly or forearm is not in keeping with a swing, as in all other clubs, as it basically eliminates ANY wrist hinge at all... As you have switched between both I would like your opinion. Many thanks, Stuart Plummer.
MONTY: Hi Stuart. I think that when the rules of golf change again at the start of 2016 you'll find that the belly putter will be banned by then; I think they'll ban it from 2014 to give everybody two years to get rid of it. The way they word the ruling will be key: whatever they go for, I'm sure it will be very well put so that it covers a multitude of dimensions. We can then get back to a place where golfers use putters that don't touch any part of their body. As you say, I've used both and I definitely disagree with belly putters.
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