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Colin Montgomerie looking to continue climb

Personal embarrassment as much as financial need is the powerful motivation for Scot Colin Montgomerie to clamber back up the world golf rankings.

All alone with the best-player-never-to-win-a-major tag since Phil Mickelson's Masters triumph, Montgomerie is continuing the career restoration work at Royal Melbourne this week.

Beset by marital problems, the seven-time European Order of Merit winner went into a tailspin to eventually slump to 82nd on the rankings at the end of the year.

Now, with his former caddie back on the bag and far lighter in frame as well as bank balance, the smooth-swinging Scot has already made a dent in the ranking with a second place in Singapore last week and hopes to carry that form into the Heineken Classic.

"I'm not that comfortable at 73rd, I must admit. I have to get back in the top 50 and then progress from there. My life has changed over this last year. I don't have three or five-year plans right now, I'm living week to week, really, and seeing how I get on," Montgomerie said yesterday.

"I'm much fitter and stronger than I've ever been. And mentally, the desire and drive is more than it ever has been. Trying to get back to where I was is driving me forward.

"I didn't need any, but it has given me great incentive. I'm as ambitious as I ever have been to get back in to the winner's circle and to get my world ranking back to somewhere that I would be comfortable with.

"All my seven Order of Merits came with the one caddie. He's as ambitious as me to get back to where we feel we belong.

"My goal this year is to get more podium finishes, if you like, top-three finishes. If you're in the top three enough, I'm sure the door opens and you win a couple of them."

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