Golf: Master Monty closes the gap

FOR COLIN Montgomerie, the One To One British Masters became more of a one-two-two-two-one. Monty has not been outside the top two in his five visits to this Midlands venue. Having won the English Open four years ago, the Scot added the Masters title for the first time.

It is a run that could perhaps only be broken if the (British) Open was bizarrely ever staged at the Forest of Arden. While as far from a links as you can get, the course did provide a difficult test in windy conditions. For a man who two weeks ago missed his second cut in succession, it was an examination Montgomerie passed easily enough.

"This would not have happened if I had not made that phone call from Seattle," Montgomerie said. It was to Bill Ferguson, his old coach from whom he split in two years ago, on the Sunday night after the USPGA Championship last month.

"Problems were arising where they had not done so before. I hadn't performed properly since I lost a play-off in the Irish Open and that was two months before. My confidence was down. But instead of seeing someone else, I went back to the man who made me the No 2 in the world. I've been working hard, harder than I ever have before, and it is all credit to Bill."

Why, the question remains, did he leave Ferguson in the first place? "I got to No 2 in the world and wanted to improve," he said. "All I probably needed to do was hole a few more putts."

But there was no suggestion that Montgomerie, a healthy eater, had to add humble pie to the menu. "I should probably have made the call earlier but it was an easy decision to make after the way I played in Seattle," he said. "We have a lot of respect for each other. I used to caddie for him when I was 10. There are few people who I have known in this game for 25 years and I'm only 35. He has known my swing for 25 years."

For much of the day the winning of the tournament, without the necessity of a six-way playoff, was no certainty. Paolo Quirici, a 30-year-old from Switzerland who has not won on the European tour, led overnight but some 31 players started within four strokes of the lead.

Pierre Fulke, from Sweden, equalled the best round of the day with a 67 to reach the clubhouse at six under, where he was joined by the Argentinian Eduardo Romero. But the decisive break did not come until Montgomerie reached the 13th. There he hit a wedge to two feet and the Scot took sole possession of the lead when he added another birdie at the next.

But now Montgomerie arrived at the hardest stretch of the course, where the wind was dead against. After pars at the next two, a four at the par- five 17th, where he holed from 25 feet, proved good insurance for the last. A brutal par-three of 209 yards, Monty missed the green on the left and failed to get up and down. It did not matter.

Quirici, who left himself too much to do with a bogey at the 15th, ended tied for fourth with Andy Oldcorn and Ignacio Garrido. The Spanish Ryder Cup player was wearing a philosophical face after being penalised four strokes on Friday. His caddie, Pello, was downright distraught for it was he who left a rogue club in his employer's bag on Friday after his own practice session for this week's first stage of the Qualifying School.

Only pounds 34,000 now covers the top three on the money list. "The No 3 does not like being No 3," Montgomerie confirmed but he refuses to see remaining the No 1 in Europe as a priority. "Whether I have five money titles or six, it doesn't matter," added Monty, who won the PGA Championship earlier in the season.

But, intriguingly, the Scot is playing in all the four remaining order of merit events, while Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke, the top two, are each missing one event. Clarke wasted an opportunity to overtake the young Englishman with a final round 75. Westwood closed with a 70 but was not happy with the state of his form. "I had my 'p' game with me this week - 'p' for pathetic," he said.

BRITISH MASTERS (Forest of Arden, Warwickshire) Leading final scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 281 C Montgomerie 70 72 70 69. 282 P Fulke (Swe) 71 72 72 67; E Romero (Arg) 70 69 75 68. 283 A Oldcorn 71 73 71 68; I Garrido (Sp) 70 73 71 69; P Quirici (Swit) 68 73 70 72. 284 G Owen 70 71 73 70. 285 J Bickerton 70 75 73 67; R Claydon 72 73 68 72; S Torrance 69 72 71 73; D Chopra (Swe) 71 72 69 73. 286 G Chalmers (Aus) 72 73 74 67; A Kankkonen (Fin) 71 69 76 70; L Westwood 73 70 73 70; S Kjeldsen (Den) 72 71 72 71; I Woosnam 75 66 73 72; *S Garcia (Sp) 71 73 69 73; M Roe 72 69 71 74; M Farry (Fr) 73 72 67 74. 287 P Broadhurst 79 65 74 69; M Lanner (Swe) 71 73 73 70; M A Jimenez (Sp) 70 75 72 70; M Campbell (NZ) 71 69 76 71; P O'Malley (Aus) 73 71 72 71; C Rocca (It) 71 72 71 73; C Suneson (Sp) 69 69 75 74; O Karlsson (Swe) 75 67 71 74; C Hainline (US) 72 71 70 74; D Clarke 67 71 74 75. 288 R Coles 73 72 76 67; P Mitchell 75 70 73 70; M Long (NZ) 75 69 73 71; S Luna (Sp) 70 73 73 72; R Lee 69 74 73 72; R Drummond 72 72 69 75. 289 M Gronberg (Swe) 75 70 75 69; K Storgaard (Den) 75 69 75 70; G Hutcheon 72 70 71 76; C Mason 72 73 68 76. 290 *T Immelman (SA) 71 71 76 72; J Lomas 72 72 74 72; P Haugsrud (Nor) 72 72 72 74; D Borrego (Sp) 72 70 73 75; J Coceres (Arg) 74 70 71 75. *Denotes amateur.

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing & Commnunications Executive, London

£30000 - £34000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly successful organisat...

Residential Property

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Residential Conveyancer - Wiltshire We have a...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Defendant Personal Injury 2+PQE

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - NICHE DEFENDANT FIRM - Defendant Pe...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment