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Montgomerie confident of Ryder Cup spot

Colin Montgomerie said on Wednesday he is certain of making the European Ryder Cup team, even though his current 10th and last automatic place on the points table could come under threat at this week's British Masters.

"I'm not thinking about the Ryder Cup whatsoever," said Montgomerie. "I should be in the top 10 without much problem, so I'm not considering that at this stage.

"I'll be in the team. I'll be very surprised if I'm not."

A poor run of form, in which he missed two cuts in a row, followed by an average run have kept Montgomerie out of the winning enclosure this year, apart from his victory in the non-European Tour Australian Masters.

His best result is tied third in the Singapore Masters early in the season and his best recent result was a tie for 10th in the TPC of Europe. On Monday he finished tied 17th in the PGA Championship behind winner Andrew Oldcorn.

"At least I'm sparing myself being in contention all the time, which takes it out of you," added the 37-year-old Scot. "I'm not tired at all."

He lines up in a field this week which includes the player who deposed him as European number one last year, Lee Westwood, top Europeans Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn, and his fellow Scot Oldcorn.

Montgomerie has laid the blame for his indifferent results squarely on his putting. On Wednesday he sounded wary of the Marquess course's sloping greens, while recognising his inability this year to sink his share of birdie putts.

So he has thrown the putting technique book out of the window to try to improve his results. He intends, instead, to employ the sort of willpower he uses for Ryder Cup matches.

"I'm not particularly working on anything with my putting - just trying to talk my way into the hole, trying to will the ball in now. I've given up on technique.

"I'll do a Ryder Cup - think, and actually will the bloody thing into the hole. If you think every putt is for a half, it is amazing how many times they go in.

"When I think matchplay, it's amazing how often they go in compared to when I think strokeplay!"

Montgomerie shot 64 on the adjacent Duke's course in the opening round of last year's British Masters before having to settle for third place behind winner Gary Orr, another Scot.

Orr, though, has withdrawn from this week's event with a stomach illness.


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