Golf: Scots are deprived of No 1

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COLIN MONTGOMERIE, No 1 in Europe again after winning the Murphy's English Open on Sunday, will not be playing for Scotland in the World Cup in Puerto Rico in November.

Montgomerie, tuning up for the Volvo German Open which starts in Dusseldorf today said yesterday that he had withdrawn from the Scottish team because he was committed to the Alfred Dunhill Masters in Bali the week before the World Cup.

'I have always played for Scotland when I have qualified for the team in the past and I regret the fact that I won't be able to be there this time,' he said. 'But it is just impossible for me to get from Bali in time to prepare properly.'

Gordon Brand Jnr, also playing in Dusseldorf this week, will take Montgomerie's place and will partner Andrew Coltart, the present Scottish professional champion, in Puerto Rico.

Montgomerie, 31, is keen to finish as top European for the second successive year and wants to press home his advantage. He is now more than pounds 82,000 ahead of his nearest rival, Jose-Maria Olzabal.