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Tiger Woods full of praise for Montgomerie

While the world of golf fell admiringly at his feet, Tiger Woods lavished praise of his own on Colin Montgomerie and said the Briton would be a great addition to the U.S.Tour.

Woods set new standards by winning the Valderrama World Championship on Sunday for his fourth U.S. Tour win on the trot, his eighth victory in 11 starts and his ninth all year, while Montgomerie won a battle of his own.

He became European number one for the seventh successive year even though it was more a reward for his six victories during the year than for his 16th and 20th-place finishes in the Volvo Masters and Valderrama events over the last eight days.

"For him to have won seven in as row is just incredible," said Woods, who has now won two in three years as a pro on the U.S.Tour.

"It's truly amazing how consistently he has played. In order to be at the top of the money list you have to play well and you have to be consistent.

"You can't have great weeks and then have terrible weeks and miss a whole bunch of cuts and finish at the bottom if you do make the cut," Woods added.

"Your non-victory weeks have to be at the worst in the top 10. He's been able to do that year in and year out,"

Montgomerie has not finished outside the top 20 in 16 tournaments in Europe this year and only in one other event , the European TPC, did he finish as low as 20th.

"Obviously he would add greatly to our tour if he came over to the States and played full time," Woods said. "It would only enhance our Tour and make it even more tough to win."

But he did not see that it would create a personal rivalry between them if Montgomerie did so.

"That's not the way we play. These are stroke play events. I'm not looking to beat Colin, he's not looking to beat me.

"We're just trying to get ourselves in position to win."

Montgomerie, however, seems further away than ever from joining the U.S.Tour full time despite suggestions that it would advance his career to do so.

The world number three announced some weeks ago that he planned to play less in the United States next year so that he could be at home more with his wife and their three young children.

Both he and Woods set money-winning records on their respective Tours this year. Montgomerie finished with 1,302,057 pounds ($2.11 million), an improvement on his previous best of 993,077 pounds set last year.

Woods shattered the previous mark of $2,591,031 set by David Duval in 1998. His second $1 million prize of the year from the three new world championship tournaments boosted his winnings to a massive $6,616,585.

That is about a million more than Jack Nicklaus won in his entire U.S.Tour career.