Montgomerie drives into record books

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The Independent Online
Colin Montgomerie set four European Tour records when he shot a superb fourth-round 63 to win the Canon European Masters yesterday. The round meant Montgomerie finished with a 72-holes aggregate of 260 at Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland.

In beating fellow Scot Sam Torrance by four shots and Suffolk-based Paul Curry by seven, Montgomerie, who had a 61 in the third round, shot 124 for his last two rounds. That was a Tour record and so was his 18 under par for the final 36 holes.

It was Montgomerie's third victory of the year and the 12th European Tour win of his career. He also went back to the top of the Order of Merit and now heads the Ryder Cup points table.

In the final round he started one shot behind Sam Torrance but was immediately level with a birdie at the opening hole. Back came Torrance to lead by one again with a birdie at the sixth, but the 301-yard seventh hole proved decisive.

Montgomerie hit the green with his first shot and holed from 25 feet for an eagle two. Torrance, in contrast, pulled his drive, bunkered his second and finished with a bogey five.

"That three-shot swing sent me from one behind to two ahead and I was never headed after that," Montgomerie said afterwards. "Sam got back to be within one with a magnificent eagle three at the 14th but I birdied five of the last six holes and he could not keep up."

Later Montgomerie explained that it was some some of the best golf he had ever played: "I'm particularly pleased that I shot a 63 after my 61. It is always difficult to follow a really good round with another. But I have to give credit to Sam Torrance. He fought so bravely and for him to shoot 68 in each of the last two rounds after leading by six shots after 36 holes and not win must have been hard to take. He's a very gritty, gutsy competitor but I played fantastic for the last two rounds so I guess I must be also."