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Montgomerie in need of rankings boost

Colin Montgomerie goes into the Deutsche Bank championship in Heidelberg on Thursday ranked 50th in the world knowing he needs a strong performance at St Leon-Rot to hang onto his place among the game’s elite and secure an exemption for the Open over his home course at Royal Troon.

Monty, who didn’t play last week, dropped one spot in the latest world golf ranking yesterday from 49th to 50th. Only those golfers ranked 50th or higher in the world on 27 May will gain automatic qualification for Troon.

The last time Montgomerie faced a similar challenge in March about playing his way into the Players Championship at Sawgrass he duly won the Caltex Masters in Singapore. The difference now, of course, is that his marriage to Eimear has ended in separation with a view to divorce.

While the game he plays for a living will in time assume an even more important role in his life, it was clear during his comeback at the British Masters that Monty has a good deal more to fret over than where he’s placed in the world rankings.

With players of the calibre of Tim Herron, John Daly, Eduardo Romero and Trevor Immelman in the pack chasing Monty for a spot in the top 50, it’s difficult to be precise about exactly what the Scot needs to achieve in Germany, though a place in the top four at the Deutsch Bank would put him out of sight of the competition and even a top 30 placing might be enough to get into the championship at Troon.

Oddly, the cut-off point for US Open qualification is later than the Open and allows Monty to improve his standing at Wentworth in the Volvo PGA, one of his favourite events. "If I am in the US Open, the Open, the Ryder Cup, then fine," he reflected. "If I’m not, then also fine. I have my health and I’ve competed in these events before so if I’m not in them, I’m not in them."

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