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Colin Montgomerie still seeking ninth order of merit title

Colin Montgomerie said on Wednesday he has not given up hope of winning his ninth European order of merit title.

Going into this week's Dunhill Links Championship the Scot trails in seventh place, more than 700,000 euros ($888,100) behind top man Paul Casey.

The 43-year-old won the event on the final hole last year to set up his eighth European number one title and he hopes a repeat could help him get past Casey and number two on the money-list David Howell.

"I'd like to get to double figures (of order of merit wins), get to 10 somehow," Montgomerie told reporters on Wednesday, as he prepared to defend his Dunhill title at St Andrews, Carnoustie, next year's British Open venue, and Kingsbarns.

"It will be very, very difficult with young guys like Paul and David coming in but, if I can, I will give it a go.

"If I win here and win Valderrama (Volvo Masters) then I have a chance. If I can't then the best of luck to both of them."

With a first prize of 427,000 pounds ($803,400) this week and 450,000 top purse at Valderrama, Montgomerie could easily put enough in the bank to reach the top.

Even if he does win both, his fate will also depend on the results of Casey and Howell and the other four players in between him and top place, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els.

Montgomerie did not help his cause by not playing in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in late August, preferring instead to take part in a non-earning celebrity event.

Last year Montgomerie began five strokes behind fellow-Briton Kenneth Ferrie and won the event at the final hole of the Old Course.

October 5, 2006

 




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