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Colin Montgomerie needs top finish in Jakarta

Colin Montgomerie is under pressure to win this week's Indonesian Open in Jakarta to make virtually certain he avoids missing the U.S. Masters for the first time since 1991.

The seven-times European number one, 54th in the official world rankings, needs to move back into the top 50 by March 28 to book a place in the field at Augusta National in Georgia next month.

"A win in Indonesia would mean that, in all likelihood, he would make the top 50," world rankings organiser Ian Barker, of Official World Golf Ranking, told Reuters on Monday.

"A second-place finish might give him a chance, but it is very dependent on the Players' Championship results in the U.S. this week.

"The Players is huge with 80 points available for the winner, which is behind only the major championships in terms of ranking points available," Barker added.

The prestigious Players' Championship, widely regarded as the sport's fifth major, starts on Thursday at the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass in Florida.

Montgomerie, who has played in every Masters since 1992 with a best finish of joint eighth in 1998, came close to qualifying for the year's first major in China last week.

The 41-year-old Scot needed to win the European Tour-sanctioned TCL Classic to return to the world top's 50 but, after sharing the lead going into the final round, he slipped back to sixth place.

Montgomerie, who holed the winning putt for Europe at last year's Ryder Cup, heads the field this week at Jakarta's Cengkareng Golf Club where he will be bidding for a 29th European Tour title.

"A win anywhere in the world is good, but winning the first ever European Tour event in Jakarta would be great," he said in a statement.

"I'm looking forward to playing in Indonesia as I've heard many exciting things about golf in the country."

Montgomerie's biggest rivals are likely to be Ryder Cup team mate Paul McGinley of Ireland and Asian number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.

The U.S. Masters takes place at Augusta from April 7-10.

 

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