She does strike one ominous note: "Heaven help us all if they ever get into a playoff against each other."
The day Andrew was born, his father, Robbie Coltart, and grandfather stepped into the corridor of the hospital for an important discussion. "My father said to me," Robbie remembers, " 'Here are a couple of pounds, now go down to the club and get Andrew's name on the books. I want him to be a member from Day One.' " Robbie Coltart is a Scotsman in every way, right down to the proper coat and tie he wears when gracing Andrew's gallery. The only time he pauses in conversation is when he's thinking about something important. Here he pauses. "It was expected Andrew would play the game," Robbie says.
Of course it was. Andrew's great-uncle was a founding member of Thornhill Golf Club, a short, tight track in the heathland of southern Scotland, and among the village's 2,000 people Robbie Coltart was one of the finest players, a crack one handicap. Andrew practically grew up around the club, as much a part of the scenery as the flowering gorse. As his game blossomed, it became increasingly clear that Andrew had a future in the sport. Still, even though golf may have been a way of life around Thornhill, it was considered a fanciful proposition to play for a living. "Throughout his teens the goal for Andrew was merely to make one Walker Cup team, because that would help him find a good job as a club pro," says Robbie, a retired footwear retailer. With these modest goals Coltart dipped a toe into the world of competitive golf at a most unlikely place—Midland (Texas) Junior College. "It's 20 miles from Odessa," says Coltart, which is another way of saying it's a million miles from nowhere.
What does he remember from his three semesters in the Texas desert? "Barbecue," says Coltart. "Lots of barbecue."
Actually, Coltart was the No. 1 player on a squad that finished No. 2 in the nation, which inflated his confidence to the point that he earned that coveted spot on the 1991 Walker Cup team. Then he turned pro and took off for the only place where he knew he could play every week—a podunk minitour in Sweden. His "year in exile" (as one Scottish newspaper put it) was worth it as Coltart gained enough experience to make it through the Euro tour's Q school that fall. He can still quote how much he earned in Europe in '93, a paltry £9,792, the result of missing 16 cuts in 22 tournaments. To save money he often slept in airports, the strap of his golf bag wrapped around his ankle to discourage thieves. "I never expected it to be easy," Coltart says. "I'm not sure I imagined it could be that hard, either."
With the life of a club pro beckoning, Coltart survived a return trip to the European Q school, thus beginning three years of rapid improvement, his long, elegant swing honed in marathon practice sessions. From 1994 to '96 he climbed from 42nd to 28th to sixth on the money list, along the way starring in three Dunhill Cups. In 1995 he won four of five matches, carrying Montgomerie and Sam Torrance to Scotland's first championship. But for all his success, Coltart had yet to win a European tour event, and it ate at him. His management company has not only Westwood and Clarke as clients, but also other young comers like Stuart Cage and Paul McGinley, and by last year Coltart had been eclipsed by all of them.
"I have always been self-critical by nature, but last year it got out of control," he says. By midsummer Coltart had come unhinged, at one point missing the cut in six of nine tournaments and failing to crack the top 30 in the other three. "I began to lose touch with reality," Coltart says. "When I woke up in the morning, I started thinking about golf, thinking I needed to work on this or that. When I went to bed, I'd be thinking about golf, trying to force myself to shoot a better score. It became an obsession."
Coltart is a Sean Connery soundalike, so it makes sense that his career was rescued by Bond, Emma Bond, his fiancée. They met four years ago at a tournament in Puerto Rico, where she was working in a corporate hospitality tent. At the nadir of Coltart's slump Emma "kicked me up the arse when I really needed it," Coltart says. "She got me to accept that it's O.K. to have average days in this job, even bad ones." Coltart also began seeing a sports psychologist, a rarity in the manly world of Euro golf. "Over here it's like an admission of weakness," says Coltart, "but it has done wonders for me."
The best therapy came at season's end, when Coltart played the Australasian tour. In between the cookouts on the beach, the nights on the town, the sunbathing and the snorkeling, he became the first European in 22 years to lead the tour's money list, winning the Australian PGA and finishing in the top 10 in seven of nine events. A new mantra was born: "If it's bad, it's bad. Stuff it," says Coltart. "People have always said I've got to be a bit more like Lee and be easier on myself. I'm Andy Coltart, and he's Lee Westwood. It's a bit harder for me to forget things than it is for him, but I'm learning."
Coltart's new 'tude has been showing up in agate print. At the season-opening Johnnie Walker Classic, in Thailand, he just missed a birdie on the last hole that would have gotten him into the Ernie Els—Tiger Woods playoff, and five weeks later he finally won his first European tour title, the Qatar Masters. He is currently ninth on the money list and 11th on the tour in stroke average (70.42).