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Montgomerie has sights on David Duval's spot

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

Colin Montgomerie goes into the English Open which starts on Thursday looking for a win to close the gap on world No. 2 David Duval.

Despite a successful defence of the British PGA Championship title at Wentworth last Monday, Montgomerie, currently third in the world rankings, has still not managed to leapfrog Duval.

But a £120,000 first prize this week at the Forest of Arden, where Montgomerie has won the title before, would put him right on Duval's shoulder.

The Scot cannot overtake Duval on Sunday, but that has not stopped him relishing the thought of becoming the second best ranked player in the world behind the all-conquering Tiger Woods before the U.S. Open in two weeks.

Montgomerie, who climbed to No. 2 in the European rankings with his third successive PGA title, has two objectives as he goes into the English Open

He wants to close even further the fast-diminishing gap between him and English Open defending champion Darren Clarke who currently tops the European rankings and he will also be looking for a confidence boost ahead of the U.S. Open where he will again bid to win an elusive first major title.

"It would be nice to go to the U.S. Open as No. 2," said Montgomerie on Wednesday.

"That's an objective for me. I would feel, Tiger Woods apart, I am the best golfer in the world.

"My whole game, and most of what I do on the course, is based on the word 'confidence'. If I could have that going into the U.S. Open and keep that by believing I am No. 2 in the world, that would be great.

"I've been there before, all through 1996, but I haven't been there since, so it would be nice to get there again."

Montgomerie said Woods was the player most likely to stop him securing his maiden major title, even though the Pebble Beach course should favour the Scot.

"I feel that U.S. Open courses are set up more to my favour than possibly his (Woods)," said Montgomerie. "But he can play round any course and obviously he is the man to beat."

 

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