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Monty drops US bombshell

London , 14th September - Colin Montgomerie dropped a bombshell this weekend when he revealed that he is about to quit the European Tour.

He has been bitter in his condemnation of the European courses he has played over the last couple of weeks and now says he has had enough. Aiming for his fifth success to top the European Order of Merit he admitted "I have a big, big decision to make. If I were a bachelor I would be off to America tomorrow."

"But there are a lot of considerations. For instance I have just sunk all my money into a new house. And taking the family to the States, especially with the children so young, would have its problems."

"Yet the temptation is growing stronger and yes, the kind of experiences players have had on the greens over the past few weeks will figure large when I finally decide."

Monty is also unhappy about he distances European tour players are now expected to travel.

The schedule not only includes, Dubai in the Middle East but also Australia and South Africa. Getting to and from these tournament venues is expensive and tiring.

Last week in Switzerland after another frustrating day on the greens he said "One thing I hate more than anything is wasting my time."

Even though he was receiving 50,000 appearance money from the sponsors Canon he was almost pulling out of the European Masters after the second round.

"Playing on bad greens like in Crans-sur-Sierre and in Munich means you have to work so hard to get a proper putting stroke going again. And the sure knowledge that Valderrama's greens will be very fast and slick means that time is running out to get your putting right."

"The Americans meanwhile will come with near-perfect strokes because they usually put on near-perfect greens."

Monty has given himself until 6th October to decide. This is the cut-off point for players to apply for membership of the US Tour and the fact that he finished joint second in the US Open means that he will have no problem over qualification.

He stressed "there is no doubt the conditions I have been playing under in Europe this season will have a direct bearing on what I decide to do."

"It is a big decision, but one that has to be made."

Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood are also thought to be considering heading for the US Tour at the end of this season.

If Monty does decide to leave then it could signal a stampede that would leave golf in Europe both from the sponsors and spectators point of view much poorer.