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Montgomerie out for revenge for GB & I

Colin Montgomerie wants to get even with Seve Ballesteros. His chance begins Friday.

This year's Seve Trophy offers Montgomerie an opportunity to atone for one of the worst defeats of his career, when he faced Ballesteros in singles in the inaugural event in 2000.

At the time, Montgomerie was ranked in the world's top 10 and a fading Ballesteros was at No. 512. Still, the Scot managed to lose his singles 2 and 1, allowing the Spaniard to engineer a 13 1/2 -12 1/4 victory for Europe over the Britain and Ireland team.

``He didn't miss a putt of under 10-feet all day on wet greens where putts were very missable,'' Montgomerie recalled Thursday.

Ballesteros' game still suffers from wayward driving but his chipping and putting remain world class. He led the putting statistics for two rounds at last week's Masters before missing the cut for the sixth successive year.

Montgomerie wants revenge, but recognizes it cannot be taken for granted.

``Seve's possibly almost as competitive as I am,'' Montgomerie said. ``We may all be pals on the practice green but no one wants to lose.''

Under the rules of the event, the two captains will clash again in Sunday's singles and Montgomerie, who won Irish Open titles on this course in 1996 and 1997, will be boosted by an improvement in his putting since switching to a ``belly'' putter three weeks ago.

After a poor start at the Masters, Montgomerie finished tied for 14th.

The event, a biennial Ryder Cup-style competition with the top players from Europe against Britain and Ireland's best, opens with four greensomes matches -- where partners both tee off with the better drive selected for play -- followed by four foursomes.

Four fourballs and four foursomes follow on Saturday, with 10 singles involving all players from both teams on Sunday.

Britain and Ireland are favored with a team including three Ryder Cup Irishmen: Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley.

Ballesteros insists his team is very strong even though if does not contain Sergio Garcia and Bernhard Langer, who both declined to play.


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