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Colin Montgomerie takes positives from US Open

Colin Montgomerie is taking only positives from his U.S. Open near-miss and believes it is just a matter of time before he wins a major.

Although his last-hole double-bogey at Winged Foot on Sunday ensured the Briton's major trophy case remained empty, Montgomerie talked of his pride rather than pain on the eve of the Johnnie Walker Championship.

"I'm proud of what I achieved and I'm back in the world's elite," Montgomerie told reporters. "We'll try again at the next U.S. Open and at Hoylake in the (British) Open.

"There is nothing negative at all. I probably played as well as anyone out there, I just didn't win.

"I'm determined now more than ever to get this thing done. I'm not proud - I'll take one (major).

"I'll go to Hoylake with added incentive."

Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk all let great opportunities to clinch the Open get away, finishing in a share of second place, a stroke behind Australian winner Geoff Ogilvy.

Although he turns 43 on Friday, Montgomerie does not believe age will inhibit his chances of winning a major.

"There is improvement still to come from me."

His experiences of the past three years in which he slipped down the world rankings, got divorced but claimed his eighth European order of merit have made Montgomerie stronger.

"I am much more confident in myself and who I am, matured if you like. I think what happened off the course has helped me on it."

Montgomerie denied he had been in any way discourteous after the U.S. Open. He was accused of throwing a tee at a young spectator during Sunday's final round, of then barging into a state trooper, and snubbing the prize-giving ceremony.

"I threw a tee into the ground, it was towards somebody but not at somebody. I was disappointed in my drive at the 17th.

"The state trooper actually bumped me. And the prize presentation - Jim Furyk and I were asked to attend, though we didn't have to. Jim and I had flights to catch."

Montgomerie now has to regroup ahead of this week's event over the PGA Centenary course that will stage the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Last year he survived only 12 holes at Gleneagles before retiring with jarred fingers.

Heavy squalls and winds gusting over 60mph greeted Montgomerie when he took to the course in Wednesday's pro-am, which was later halted because of unplayable conditions.

June 22, 2006


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