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Golf News: - Posted 2nd October 1997

Montgomerie could be playing in the US next year

Berlin, Germany 1st October 1, 1997 - Colin Montgomerie said this week just before the Linde German Masters that if he tops the European Tour money list for a record fifth consecutive year he will play full time in the United States next season.

"If I do make it five in a row that will be the end of this," said Montgomerie, who currently leads Darren Clarke by 81,000 and Bernhard Langer by 86,929 with three events left.

"I have my U.S. tour card and now it is up to me," Montgomerie said at the German Masters in Berlin. "Whatever I decide, one thing is certain. I shall not try to play on both tours. Ernie Els tried it this year but could not manage it."

Montgomerie said early last month that he would not give up his PGA European Tour membership. Under restrictions relaxed this year, he needs to play only seven European events outside the four majors next year to keep his playing card.

But he indicated on Wednesday that he might not even play that many.

"There is no point in killing yourself by trying to play too much so it's got to be one tour or the other," Montgomerie said. "Whichever tour I decide to play I want to do it properly."

Montgomerie said he will announce his decision by 7th November after the season-ending Volvo Masters at Montecastillo, Spain.

Anyone in the top 125 on the USPGA Tour money list at the end of the season is eligible to join the U.S. tour. Montgomerie is currently 36th in only nine events and should easily finish in the top 125.

Any foreign player who qualifies for PGA Tour membership based on the money must let the tour know of his intentions within 30 days after the PGA Tour Championship ends. That tournament ends on the 2nd November this year.

Because three of the four major championships are played in the United States has been an influence in getting players to switch.