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Colin Montgomerie leads Europeans to China

Colin Montgomerie, who won the European Order of Merit yesterday for a record eighth time, will lead the European challenge at the inaugural 'HSBC Champions' tournament in Shanghai at the Sheshan International Golf Club, from November 10-13.

" I am thrilled to have won my eighth Order of Merit title and, after a such a long gap where everyone probably thought I wouldn't be able to do it again, it is particularly satisfying," said Montgomerie on being presented with the Harry Vardon Trophy as European Number One.

"I am now looking to get my 2006 campaign off to a great start and to consolidate my position on the Ryder Cup Rankings and a win or a good finish at the HSBC Champions would certainly do that."

Paul McGinley, winner at the weekend's 2005 Volvo Masters and runner up at the 2005 HSBC World Match Play Championship, is full of confidence as he heads to China, "I am so pleased to win a title of this size and to do it in the style I did," said McGinley. "Those three near-misses this year really hurt me - I was absolutely devastated after losing the final of the HSBC World Match Play. I put a lot of what happened in those losses into practice and that I was able to do it means a huge, huge, huge amount to me."

Monty will be joined by fellow European stars Padraig Harrington, a two-time winner on the US PGA Tour this year, Thomas Bjorn, who beat Tiger Woods in a head to head contest at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2001, and 2005 Singapore Masters winner, Nick Dougherty .

Ryder Cup hopefuls, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and David Howell will also be hoping to make an impact at the HSBC Champions, where the prize fund of US$5 million is the largest in the history of Asian and Chinese golf.

October 31, 2005

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