TROON (Scotland) • No sooner had Jordan Spieth wrapped up his British Open campaign yesterday with his best round of the week, than he was talking up the revenge mission he will be on at the Ryder Cup in September.
Europe have beaten the United States in eight of the last 10 editions of the biennial team event and the American said it was about time his side started to redress the balance at Hazeltine, Minnesota in two months' time.
"The Ryder Cup, we've got to win one," Spieth told reporters, after claiming an eagle and three birdies in a closing 68 that gave him a two-over aggregate of 286 after an extremely tough week of wind and rain at Royal Troon.
"We've got to start a trend back the other way and make them develop a task force," he laughed, referring to the collection of individuals the US put together after losing in Scotland two years ago.
4TH RD EARLY SCORES (USA unless stated, par 71)
280 Rory McIlroy (Nir) 69 71 73 67 285 Jason Day (Aus) 73 70 71 71 286 Jordan Spieth 71 75 72 68
288 Bubba Watson 70 76 72 70
289 Adam Scott (Aus) 69 73 76 71
3RD RD (SELECTED)
201 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 68 65 68
202 Phil Mickelson 63 69 70
207 Bill Haas 68 70 69
210 Tony Finau 67 71 72, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 67 68 75
211 Patrick Reed 66 74 71, Sergio Garcia (Esp) 68 70 73
212 Dustin Johnson 71 69 72
"For me personally I've got to avenge. I felt like the 2014 singles match is a really important match that I lost for the team and I'm going to go back and try to avenge that the best I can," said Spieth of his last-day defeat by Graeme McDowell.
The 22-year-old said he was buoyed by his performance in the final round of golf's oldest Major.
"I gained some momentum today," added world No. 3 Spieth.
"I saw a couple of putts go in from outside six feet and made probably three or four of them from that range so my ball-striking's there.
"I really struck the ball good... controlled the spin nicely and played to the right spot. I played an extremely solid round... all the parts seem to be coming together."
Meanwhile, Colin Montgomerie made his 22nd, and probably final, appearance at the British Open yesterday but the European Tour great was denied the emotional farewell given to Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson in recent years.
The 53-year-old Scot, who occupied the last spot in the field at the start of the fourth round, was accompanied by a marker when he teed off at 7.40am (2.40pm Singapore time) in the opening match of the day.
A closing five-over 76 gave the eight-time European No. 1 a 17-over aggregate of 301 and Royal Troon member Montgomerie said it was "a shame" the grandstands were quiet when he walked off the 18th green.
"It was a pity," the veteran Scot told reporters.
"I'd have loved to be in the middle of the pack where the stands are beginning to become full... that would have been more emotional.
"You've got to be realistic and think it might well be the last time I'm here at an Open."
Montgomerie, though, was pleased to have achieved his ambition by making the cut.
"The goal at the start of the week was to play on Sunday," said the former world No. 2, who is now a regular on the senior circuit.
"Anything beyond that was a bonus. When I saw the course in practice, how long it was playing, it really took it out of my hands. I needed it to be running like Turnberry or Hoylake," added Montgomerie of the parched fairways of 2009 and 2006.
Europe's triumphant 2010 Ryder Cup captain said he was full of admiration for the fans who turned up at Troon last week in spite of receiving a buffeting from the rain and 50kmh winds.
"The spectators here, they've battled way, way hard," added Montgomerie.
"It's £80 (S$142) to get in, it's not cheap. They've done well to come in and battle hard knowing the conditions are going to be difficult. Pars here are good, it's tough, very, very tough."