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Tour News (posted 13th September 1998)

Monty wins British Masters and says crisis is over


Coventry, England  - After winning his first event since May to emerge from a two-month spell of poor form, Colin Montgomerie felt on Sunday his crisis was over.

The five-time European number one has been mired in his worst spell since 1991 but the 35-year-old Scot's form returned with a vengeance as he shot a closing 69 to take his second European title of the year, the One 2 One British Masters, by a stroke.

But while Montgomerie was relieved his poor spell was over and he was back in the winning enclosure, he insisted that earning a sixth successive rankings title was not his priority.

"It's been a mini-crisis for me," he admitted after taking the 125,000 ($211,000) first prize at the Forest of Arden, his second victory at the course to go with three second places. "But I can't say I'm in crisis any more.

"I made the right decision when I called my old coach Bill Ferguson after Seattle (USPGA Championship) because I owe him a lot for me bringing out of that crisis.

"It was the right step to go back to somebody who got me to world number two and very nearly world number one.

"He got me hitting more balls in the last two months than I've hit in my life and it's paid off in the end.

He conceded it had been "a bit of a struggle, finding things difficult I'd never found so in my life before. Now I'm going to work just as hard to the end of the season."

Montgomerie's victory has brought him right back into the Order of Merit race. Still third, he is now only 26,000 ($43,880) behind Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke and 34,000 ($57,380) behind rankings leader Lee Westwood.

"The Order of Merit is of no interest to me," he insisted. "I'm just not looking for that sixth title. Winning five was fantastic and I'm very proud of doing it, but I'm not putting pressure on myself for the sixth.

"Five or six titles is not important - just winning tournaments is."

Westwood stays top of the rankings after finishing a stroke ahead of Clarke, who led the first two rounds but had a poor weekend. He admitted his concentration in the final round was marred by an overnight illness to his wife and six-week-old son.