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Colin Montgomerie still hopeful of US Open spot

Colin Montgomerie still thinks he can automatically qualify for next month's U.S. Open, although he will need to play much better at the BMW Championship to do it.

Monty finished 1 over at the Nissan Irish Open on Sunday -- on a course he designed.

That won't do much to raise his Official World Golf Ranking, which is currently 54. He'll likely have to finish in the top five next week at Wentworth to jump into the top 50, which will send him to the U.S. Open without going through qualifying.

Montgomerie designed the course at Carton House and shot a 2-under 70 on Sunday, but it was his 75 on Saturday that hurt his chances.

He'll have another chance next week at Wentworth, where he won three straight titles from 1998-2000.

"I'm glad there will be a strong field with (Retief) Goosen and (Ernie) Els coming over. And Luke Donald is playing, and Padraig Harrington. That means more points will be available," Montgomerie said.

The Scot also said he was honored that a course he designed was used this week -- and will be used again next year.

"It's been the first time I've ever felt sorry for players in bunkers and sorry for fellow competitors," he said. "Some came to me and said the course was tough but I make no apologies for that. I will never make an apology for making a tough course.

"I think it's a good test of golf."

The landing areas at the fourth and sixth holes are expected to be widened for next year, Montgomerie said.


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