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Montgomerie hoping to find form for Masters

Colin Montgomerie tried to banish the gremlins from his game yesterday as he prepared for next week's US Masters.

Ring-rusty Monty tees off today in the BellSouth Classic, the traditional curtain- raiser for Augusta, knowing he needs a precious confidence-booster.

He said: "I'm here in the States for a month and though I was thinking of going home after last week's Houston Open I decided to enter the event here in Atlanta.

"I need to play because I haven't played really that much golf and last week was my first four-round tournament of the year. I want to play my way out of a bit of an indifferent spell and I'm looking forward to it."

The European challenge is spearheaded by Ireland's Padraig Harrington and England's Lee Westwood. Harrington headed back across the Atlantic following his midfield finish in the Players' Championship and spent last week at Largs working with coach Bob Torrance.

Harrington said: "My concentration wasn't that good at the Players nor was my chipping and that's all to do with it being early season. So both of those things needed to be worked on.

"Bob and I spent an awful lot of time concentrating on that aspect of my game but my focus has to be better around the course.

"I always seem to be the same at this time of year and even though we are into April it always takes me a while to get warmed up.

"I am happy where my game is and it's a question of trying to get back into the zone."

Also in the field is Vijay Singh, winner of last week's Houston Open - lifting the Fijian to the top of the US Tour stroke average.

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