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Montgomerie won't defend French title

Colin Montgomerie, will not defend his French Open title in Lyon this week, a tour spokeswoman for the European PGA confirmed on Tuesday.

Montgomerie, who won last year's tournament with a two-stroke victory, but is currently in the midst of the worst slump of his career, withdrew his entry last Friday, the spokeswoman said without further explanation.

The moody Scot, who for most of the 1990s reigned supreme as Europe's number one golfer, missed the cut in last week's Portuguese Open by one shot, marking the first time since August 1998 that he had failed in two successive outings.

Earlier in the month he missed the cut at the US Masters and is currently lying only 11th on a European Ryder Cup qualifiers list topped by Sweden's Pierre Fulke with Ireland's Padraig Harringtonsecond and England's Lee Westwood third.

The top 12 qualifiers, both in Europe and the US, automatically make the teams, but two additional places in each team are at the discretion of the respective Ryder Cup captains.

Unless he can reverse his fortunes, Montgomerie may well find he needs to rely on his captain's nod to play in this year's Ryder Cup.


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