Montgomerie finds his form to end title drought

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The Independent Online

Colin Montgomerie said he felt an enormous sense of relief after taking his first European Tour title in 16 months in the Caltex Masters. Montgomerie overturned a four-shot deficit with a final round of 65 at Laguna National, claiming his 28th career victory with a 16 under par total for a three-stroke victory over the American Greg Hanrahan. India's Jyoti Randhawa and Australian Nick O'Hern shared third on 12 under par.

Colin Montgomerie said he felt an enormous sense of relief after taking his first European Tour title in 16 months in the Caltex Masters. Montgomerie overturned a four-shot deficit with a final round of 65 at Laguna National, claiming his 28th career victory with a 16 under par total for a three-stroke victory over the American Greg Hanrahan. India's Jyoti Randhawa and Australian Nick O'Hern shared third on 12 under par.

The former European No 1 collected the first prize of £83,598 and will also qualify for the forthcoming Players' Championship at Sawgrass by moving back into the top 50 in the world rankings. The 40-year-old failed to win an event in Europe last year, for the first time in more than a decade, his last tour title coming when he controversially shared the Volvo Masters with Bernhard Langer in November 2002.

He began the week bemoaning the "little mistakes" which have crept into his game since the 1990s, and it looked like they would prove costly again when he bogeyed the final hole of his first round on Thursday to card a 71. But he did not drop another shot all week and finished in style with his lowest final round since a 64 when winning at Loch Lomond in 1999.

"This means an awful lot to me, it means confidence. I lost it last year and I have it back now," he said. "I know I can do this and I can keep doing this. I know I am good enough to perform and it's always nice when you prove that to yourself. I hadn't won on the European Tour for almost a year-and-a-half and it's a long time."

* In Orlando, Florida, Tiger Woods's attempt to win a fifth straight Bay Hill Invitational came unstuck on Saturday when he shot a two over par 74 to fall 15 strokes behind the third-round leader Stuart Appleby.

* Annika Sorenstam, playing her first LPGA Tour event of the season, shot a four under par 68 to extend her lead to two strokes after 54 holes of the Safeway International at Superstition Mountain in Arizona. Laura Davies was one of four players five shots behind.

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