For American professional golfers, the childhood dream of playing in the PGA Tour is something they share with most people in the world. Many wanted to go abroad to play, but by the time they reach professional golf, which often does not cover that aspect of their golfing career, it’s simply a part of the movement.
Former International Amateur Golf Federation President and former International Players Championship winner, Ben Curtis, recalled how he first encountered Colin Montgomerie when he was a young kid growing up in Cheshire in England.
“I was at home playing my third set of golfers, and as I was walking around playing with my Dad, Colin Montgomerie turned up at the front of the family pub called The Old Red Lion,” said Curtis. “I was only about five or six, but I remember my Dad would always say to me in the mornings, ‘Just wait until Colin Montgomerie turns up.’ At that time, he was six-to-seven and he is one of the most famous people in the world. I remember thinking, ‘OK, there are the two players to aspire to be.’”
Montgomerie became the PGA Tour’s first Black professional and the first Black golfer from Great Britain to win a PGA Tour event.
Curtis said he was “overwhelmed” when he saw how much they kept in touch, and how they helped each other at the very beginning of their careers.
This story was originally published in 2014 and was re-published with minor edits by Golf Digest.