Montgomerie faces Players pressure

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Colin Montgomerie tees off in the Caltex Masters here today badly needing a win to bump up his world ranking of 51 and qualify for next week's Players Championship in Florida.

"I've spent the last seven tournaments not finishing worse than 16th, unfortunately not finishing better than eighth," Montgomerie said. "I have to go forward from that and do better. Little things seem to be creeping in now that weren't there before, and I've got to nullify them and we can start to win again."

Montgomerie is not a PGA Tour member so he must reach the top 50 in the world to qualify for The Players Championship at Sawgrass, one of his favourite courses in the United States.

Other big European names competing in the Caltex Masters are Sweden's Joakim Haeggman and Irishman Paul McGinley. The Asian golfers who are expected to challenge include Asia's No1 Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand and China's Zhang Lian-Wei, the defending Caltex champion.