Colin Montgomerie, chased hard all the way by old foe Tom Watson, secured the Senior PGA Championship by four strokes in Michigan yesterday, his first titlse as a senior
Montgomerie, who never won on the PGA Tour despite a decorated career in Europe, fended off a mid-round charge from Watson to secure the second major of the season on the over-50s Champions Tour.
The Scot carded 65 to finish at 13-under-par 271 and evergreen American Watson made four birdies in five holes from the turn to shoot 65 and claim second place.
Montgomerie, who turned 50 last year, has won 31 times on the European Tour, where he topped the order of merit a record eight times, including seven seasons in a row. But his only previous victory in the USA was at the 1998 World Championship Match Play event, which at the time was unofficial.
"It's been a long time," sazid Montgomerie. "I haven't won a 72-hole event in America until today. It's a very special moment for myself and my caddie. We've been trying, my god we've been trying. We've come close on a number of occasions. It's great to come here as a senior and finally break that duck."
Montgomerie teed off with a one-stroke lead yesterday and effectively secured the title with six birdies in eight holes, starting at the eighth. Any lingering doubts about the outcome disappeared when his second shot into the par-4 18th sailed long and left of the green, only to strike the grandstand and ricochet back on to the putting surface.
Watson, 64, was the only player to make a serious run at Montgomerie, who paid tribute to the man who will captain the American Ryder Cup team against Europe in September.
"If his Ryder Cup team has his ambition we're in big trouble this year," Montgomerie quipped, before continuing to talk about how much the victory meant. "It's a very difficult task to come from abroad and win in America. If you beat the Americans in America at any sport you've done really well. I'm very proud."
n Adam Scott celebrated his first week as world No.1 in emphatic fashion by winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Texas. Last year's Masters champion notched his 24th professional victory, including 11 on the PGA Tour, by beating American Jason Dufner in a play-off at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
Scott sank a seven-foot birdie putt at the third extra hole, the par-4 18th, to become the fourth Australian to win at Colonial, joining Bruce Crampton, Bruce Devlin and Ian Baker-Finch. Earlier, Dufner and Scott both shot 66 to finish on nine-under-par 271.