Montgomerie & Daly in need of good finishes
Colin Montgomerie and twice major champion John Daly are under U.S. Open pressure this week, with both needing top-five finishes on Sunday to secure a spot at the second of the year's four majors.
The U.S. Open takes place at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York from June 17 to 20. Daly and Montgomerie have to break back into the world's top 50 by Monday to earn automatic exemption.
American Daly, currently ranked 54th, is playing this week at the PGA Tour's St. Jude Classic while seven-times European number one Montgomerie (56th) is competing at Wentworth in the Volvo PGA Championship, the European Tour's flagship event.
"Daly has to finish no lower than top three at the St. Jude to book his U.S. Open spot and Montgomerie needs a top-five placing at Wentworth," world rankings organiser Ian Barker of Official World Golf Ranking told Reuters on Wednesday.
The big-hitting Daly is perhaps the more likely to make it having produced some vintage form in 2004 after struggling for much of the last decade with alcohol, anti-depressants, gambling, binge eating and divorces.
Winner of the 1991 U.S. PGA Championship at Crooked Stick and the 1995 British Open at St Andrews, he clinched his first PGA Tour title in nine years at the Buick Invitational in February.
He then earned his 10th invitation to the U.S. Masters by staying in the top 10 in the PGA Tour's money list after The Players Championship in late March.
Although Daly missed the cut at Augusta National, he has produced four top-10 finishes this season and lies 15th in the U.S. money list with earnings of $1,485,521.
Montgomerie is in the throes of a divorce from his wife Eimear and may find it hard to focus when he tees off at Wentworth on Thursday.
Although a three-times winner of the Volvo PGA, he has been diverted in recent weeks as he deals with his marriage break-up and the care of his three children.
However, the 40-year-old Briton has been in determined mood since he plummeted out of last week's Tournament Players Championship of Europe in Germany following scores of 75 and 78.
"Hopefully, I've got all my bad luck away in the two rounds and I'll have a little bit more luck at Wentworth," he said.
"I'll try again, then I'll try again, then again the next week and the next week, until I can perform to my true ability."
Although domestic concerns have overshadowed his life in recent weeks, Montgomerie has produced some impressive form this season and lies 13th in the European order of merit.
He won his first European Tour title in 16 months at the Singapore Masters in March and has been backed to make the European Ryder Cup team for September by captain Bernhard Langer.
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