Monty seeks winning feeling

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The Independent Online

Part of Colin Montgomerie's luggage for the French Open was the usual "five or six" putters, one of which he hopes will enable him to grab his first victory of the season.

Disgusted with how he performed on the greens in finishing fifth in last week's Spanish Open, Montgomerie said: "I want to get the feeling of winning again.

"Just the feeling. The way I struck the ball last week I should have won, but I didn't. I don't enter tournaments to finish fifth nowadays and I get frustrated when I play well enough to win and don't."

Le Golf National just outside Paris, where the French Open begins today, may not be the place for Montgomerie to find his putting touch, though. The greens are still recovering from the disease fusarium and the French No 1, Jean van de Velde, commented: "Three or four of them are really dodgy."

Also included in the field is the New Zealander Michael Campbell, who is back after taking a two-month break. Campbell spent part of his leisure time surfing in Australia - a pleasant enough experience until he read in a local newspaper that two men had been bitten by sharks just 200 metres from where he had been.

"That was quite scary," said the 31-year-old, "especially when a television crew flew overhead in a helicopter and showed a feeding frenzy of Tiger sharks the other side of a wave from where there were people."

Campbell started the season by winning the Johnnie Walker Classic in Taiwan and the Heineken Classic in Perth. He led the Order of Merit at that point, but since his first-round defeat by Tiger Woods in the World Match Play in California in February he has been overtaken by Darren Clarke, the winner that week, and the Masters runner-up, Ernie Els.

The immediate target for the Kiwi is to get back into the top two in the next three weeks and so qualify for next month's US Open at Pebble Beach, which could take two more wins to achieve. Campbell is £162,000 behind Els and £374,000 adrift of Clarke. This week's first prize is £116,778.

* Tiger Woods went on strike on Tuesday - along with the 135,000 other members of the Screen Actors' Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in the United States. The world No 1 was due to start filming a television commercial until the Guild called its first industrial action for 12 years in a dispute over payment for advertisements on cable television. "There is a strike going on and we are abiding by it," a spokesman for Woods said.

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