Westwood beats Monty in play-off

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Lee Westwood holed a 20-foot birdie putt at the second playoff hole to beat defending champion Colin Montgomerie for the World Match Play title today.

Lee Westwood holed a 20-foot birdie putt at the second playoff hole to beat defending champion Colin Montgomerie for the World Match Play title today.

The 27-year-old had earlier holed a putt of the same distance for a birdie to avoid falling behind at the 35th hole.

Both players birdied the 36th and the first playoff hole.

Westwood's victory was his sixth in Europe this year and earned him £250,000.

After defeating Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els to reach the final, Westwood was more than satisfied with his weekend's work.

He said: "It is very satisfying to win by beating players of that caliber - it was not an easy ride.

"It is also satisfying to beat Colin head-to-head on a golf course he loves playing on."

Montgomerie has won the last three British PGA Championships on this 7,047-yard course as well as taking this title last year.

"All credit to Lee. He hung in there and holed a monster putt at the 35th. That was crucial to the match," Montgomerie said.

It was the first time the championship went to a playoff since Seve Ballesteros beat Sandy Lyle at the 37th hole in 1982.

Westwood held a two-hole edge when the final of the rain-interrupted event was halted by darkness after 18 holes Sunday.

But Montgomerie caught him at the 24th hole and went in front at the 26th.

The lead then changed hands three holes in succession from the 31st to leave the two finalists all square with three to play.

Montgomerie said he expected Westwood to make the long birdie putt at the 35th.

"In match play if you're surprised by anything you're in the wrong frame of mind," he said. "If he happens to miss, it's a bonus. So I expected it to go in."

The Scotsman was full of praise for his conqueror.

"Now he's favored to take another of my titles, the Order of Merit," said Montgomerie, who has won that distinction for the last seven years in Europe.

Montgomerie began to close the overnight gap at the short 20th hole where Westwood missed the green and missed a par attempt from 7 feet - the sort of putt he made all afternoon Sunday.

Both birdied the 22nd and then Montgomerie squared with a wedge second shot to 2ft at the 24th.

Two holes later he was in front for the first time since the 6th hole in Sunday's round, a 10-footer giving him a birdie after Westwood missed from 12ft.

Westwood missed again from 10ft at the 29th and halved a hole he might have won, but he took the 31st when Montgomerie hit his approach into a greenside bunker and made bogey.

Another error by Montgomerie at the short 32nd put Westwood ahead, the Scot finishing 40ft away with his 5-iron. He left the first putt six feet short and lipped out with the second for a bogey.

But he was back on terms again at the 33rd when Westwood's par putt from four feet lipped out.

Both drove into fairway at the 571-yard 35th, the 17th on Wentworth's West Course, but Westwood was 30 yards short of the green with his second as Montgomerie hit the green with his second shot.

Westwood's chip was long and unlucky, hitting a rare hard spot on the sodden greens and scooting 20 feet past.

"I hit the shot I wanted to hit. It just took off," he said.

But after Montgomerie made sure of his birdie four, Westwood canned his 20-footer to stay level.

At the last, with rain starting to fall, Montgomerie had to make a five-foot birdie putt to match Westwood's three-footer after a superb chip from the rough.

Westwood's victory followed that of his close friend and stablemate, Darren Clarke, in the Andersen Consulting Match Play world championship in February in California.

"I don't know which is better," he said. "The world championships don't have the history but this one doesn't have the top 64 players in the world."