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Golf News: - Posted 7th March 1998

Montgomerie offers 25,000 reward for conviction of thief

Oxshott, Surrey - Colin Montgomerie, whose first stop on the USPGA Tour this year at the Doral-Ryder Open was greeted with a missed cut today offered a 25,000 reward for the conviction of a thief who stole 250,000 in jewelry from his home.

"We can confirm there was a burglary at a private residence in mid-February in an area south of Esher," a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police in Oxshott, Surrey, said. "Jewelry and items valued at 250,000 were stolen."

The thief's haul included a pearl necklace with a diamond clasp, a diamond and white gold choker, earrings and a ring valued at 110,000 and a 16,000 ladies watch.

"We are not able to give any further details at the request of the victim who is offering a 25,000 reward," the police spokesman said.

The burglary in the Surrey suburb occurred before Montgomerie left for Dubai and his first tournament of the year. Montgomerie traveled from Dubai, with a stopover in London, to Florida this week and his first U.S. event of the year.

Montgomerie, his wife Eimear, and daughters Olivia, 4, and Venetia, 2, were believed to have been in the 10-bedroom home when the thief struck. The Montgomeries are expecting a third child in May.

Montgomerie, who has been reluctant to uproot his family and play full time on the U.S. tour, has indicated he will play as many as 12 events in America this year and might join the tour full time in 1999, meaning he would be committed to playing at least 15 tournaments.

His first PGA Tour event of the year was not successful, as he shot 148 at Doral -- 12 strokes off the lead -- and missed the cut.

The Scotsman's outspoken honesty has been largely interpreted as arrogance by American fans and that image was not helped this week by a disgraceful Sports Illustrated  article that called him "the Goon from Troon" and said that "many fans see the pasty Scot as a first-class jerk."

Montgomerie was the verbal leader of the European Ryder Cup team last September, predicting a victory for his team, saying the Valderrama course was not suited for Tiger Woods's game and saying anyone on the European team could defeat Woods.

All turned out to be accurate assessments.

"I think people have got the wrong impression sometimes, and it's not me," Montgomerie said.

A new series of TV advertisements he does for Callaway have tried to show Montgomerie in a softer light, but he indicated this week that he doesn't plan on changing.

"I have an opinion about things and I have aired them in the past and I'll air them in the future," Montgomerie said. "I think it's good that I can do that, have the freedom to do that, and I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes."