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Volvo PGA Championship
Wentworth Club
22nd - 25th May 1998

Par 72 Prize Money 1.2 million

Final Round

Montgomerie birdies final hole for victory

Wentworth, Surrey, 25th May 1998 - Colin Montgomerie made a 10-foot birdie putt at the final hole today for a one-stroke victory in the Volvo PGA Championship.

Montgomerie, the PGA European Tour's top money winner for five straight years, shot a final round 69 to win the tournament for the first time with a total of 14-under-par 274.

Montgomerie took a one-stroke lead into the final round at Wentworth, but fell behind on the back nine as Gary Orr, Dean Robertson, Ernie Els and Patrik Sjoland held the lead at various times.

A four-man playoff with Els, Orr and Sjoland loomed after Montgomerie hit a poor tee shot at the 18th. But the Scot hit his third shot within 10 feet and rolled in the putt for the victory.

"I needed to get up and down but I left myself with a great distance, 105 yards, which meant I could hit my L-wedge hard. That's what you need to do when you are nervous."

"This is the strongest tournament on the European tour and only the majors and the U.S. Players Championship are more important," Montgomerie, who now has 15 European tour titles, said. "I am delighted to add this trophy to the great collection of European trophies I have at home."

He added: "The experience at the Ryder Cup with Scott Hoch held me in good stead. I've done this a few times now. When it matters I know I can do it. I don't seem to get nervous, I just get the ball in the hole.

"I had a sad day with the putter in the final round of the Benson and Hedges International, but I holed two good eight footers at the last two holes. It was a dramatic day for the neutrals and I wanted to get a four because with my record in playoffs (won one, lost four) I didn't fancy sudden-death.

"This gives me a lot of confidence going into the U.S. Open. It's my favourite tournament and I feel now it is time I started winning majors.

"I reckon Ernie Els is the best player in the world and if you beat him then you will usually win."

"I pushed the putt ahead and it just fell in the right side,'' Montgomerie said. "When it matters, I don't suffer from nerves. I just have to get it in the hole.''

Sjoland, Els and Orr finished one stroke back. The Swede shot a final round 66, while Els and Orr had 68s.

Robertson, Andrew Coltart, Peter Lonard, Thomas Bjorn and Mats Hallberg all finished two strokes behind at 276.

Seve Ballesteros, who shot a 65 Sunday to move into contention for his first victory in three years, slumped to a 73 today and finished at 281.

Montgomerie had lost a playoff to Ballesteros at Wentworth in 1991 and lost in the final of the 1994 World Match Play Championship to Els.

The victory was worth 200,000 and pushed Montgomerie's career winnings on the European tour past 7 million.

Robertson led after going to 14-under at No. 13. But his title chances fell apart at the 16th where he hit his tee shot into the woods, took a penalty drop and finished with a double-bogey 6 to fall to 11-under.


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