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Winning the key consideration for Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie displays the PGA Trophy after claiming his third title in a row. Allsport

Colin Montgomerie pushed his career earnings to just under £10 million with his British PGA championship hat-trick on Monday then said competition, not cash, drives him.

"There's no financial reason anymore," he said after pocketing the £250,000 first prize from the European Tour's flagship tournament.

"I just love the competition, I love competing. That's why I do it.

"Whatever happens now this has already been a successful season. I can only try to improve.

"I set out each season to try to improve each year and so far I have. I can only say that now, in May, it's been the best start yet."

But Monty, 37 next month, readily admits that he also sets out each season wondering whether it will be the one that finally nets him a major.

"I'm looking forward to Pebble Beach (U.S. Open venue next month) more than any other tournament at the moment," he said.

"Yes, I would like to win a major but if I never do then so what? It won't alter my life or career in any shape or form."

Some have argued that Montgomerie's refusal to alter his lifestyle has held him back from that final step to greatness.

Nick Faldo is one who has criticised him for living in the "comfort zone" of the European Tour, rather than testing himelf in the U.S. on a week-to-week basis.

Montgomerie rejects the charge. "I've been saying for a while that the future of the European Tour is very bright," he said.

"It is very, very competitive and the standard is very good, just look at the leaderboard today. If it wasn't then I might go to America but it is.

"I get enough of Tiger Woods and David Duval when I go over there and this Tour keeps me just about competitive enough.

"I have to play at my very, very best, as I've proved this week, to stay just ahead."

He was certainly pushed on Monday as his own sticky start and a charge by Andrew Colthart saw his lead evaporate by the seventh hole.

Montgomerie said he gave himself a "good talking to" after that. "I thought 'right, come on, one good iron and I'm back in the lead again'."

He produced it with a perfect seven-iron approach at the eighth to set up a birdie which reclaimed the lead. Then three birdies in three holes after the turn effectively sealed victory.

"My determination comes out in situations like that. I felt that since I had started with a three-shot lead then I could not lose. It was important that my competitors knew I was confident of winning."

"I played very well from the eighth and those next six holes decided the tournament."

 

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