Monty aiming for a million

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The Independent Online

Colin Montgomerie officially became European No 1 for a record-equalling fourth successive year when he was fourth in the Linde German Masters in Berlin yesterday. His next target is to finish the season with more than pounds 1m on the Order of Merit.

Montgomerie, who finished three shots behind Irishman Darren Clarke when he shot 65 for a four-round aggregate of 267, 21 under par, collected pounds 32,500 and has now won pounds 717,146.36 this year in Tour events.

The Scot, who has finished in the top four in four of his last five tournaments, has only one more counting tournament, the Volvo Masters in Valderrama later this month. "If I win there I will go over the million pounds mark," he said. "The first prize in Valderrama is pounds 150,000 and I get a pounds 150,000 bonus for being European No 1, so I can get to seven figures with a victory there. It was my goal to pass pounds 700,000 today so that I would have the chance to go for the million and now I have done it."

Clarke, who was overshadowed by Montgomerie's achievements, shot a superb 63 to finish on 264, 24 under par, to beat Mark Davis, of Essex, by one shot, Paul Broadhurst by two and Montgomerie by three.

Davis shot a best-of-the-week 62, 10 under par, and chased Clarke all the way home, but the Irishman, who had eight birdies and an eagle-two at the fourth on his card, was two shots clear when he stood on the 18th tee. He then dropped his first shot of the day with a bogey-five.

However, that was good enough to give him his second European Tour victory - he won the Alfred Dunhill Cup in Ireland three years ago - and, more importantly, he collected a first prize of pounds 108,330 which gives him the same figure in Ryder Cup points.

"I have played fantastically this week," Clarke said. "When I birdied the 17th with a 25-foot putt it gave me a two-shot cushion on Mark and I was able to bogey the last without being worried."

Davis, who had eight birdies and an eagle-three at the long fifth in his 62, said: "It was the best round I have played on the European Tour."

VOLVO RANKING (Order of Merit): (British and Irl unless stated): 1 C Montgomerie pounds 717,146.36; 2 I Woosnam pounds 541,298.94; 3 R Allenby (Aus) pounds 456,803.66; 4 C Rocca (Ita) pounds 424,335.19; 5 L Westwood pounds 337,791.37; 6 A Coltart pounds 313,569.75; 7 D Clarke pounds 298,670.50; 8 M McNulty (Zim) pounds 274,847.03; 9 P Broadhurst pounds 267,744.30; 10 P Harrington pounds 261,023.91; 11 T Bjorn (Denmark) pounds 260,534.78; 12 P McGinlay pounds 248,200.29; 13 P Mitchell pounds 246,952.37; 14 R Russell pounds 245,580.21; 15 J Van de Velde (Fra) pounds 245,461.88; 16 M-A Martin (Spa) pounds 240,413.35; 17 W Riley (Aus) pounds 239,733.17; 18 M-A Jimenez (Spa) pounds 234,371.08; 19 S Ames (Tri) pounds 232,534.12; 20 J Lomas pounds 226,072.90.

n Britain's Caroline Pierce overcame Dottie Pepper and Michelle McGann in a head-to-head showdown in the final round of the JAL Big Apple Classic to collect her first American LPGA tour victory in nine years.

Pierce started the day three strokes ahead of Pepper and McGann, but faced an uphill task against two players who have won seven tournaments between them since June. Her lead slipped to two strokes with four holes to play, but Pierce kept her nerve and concentration to finish in style, with birdies on the final three holes, including a 15-foot putt on the 16th green.

n Laura Davies could finish only joint seventh after a disappointing final round in the Takara World International in Sanbu, Japan, which was won by Ikuyo Shiotani.

Scores, Digest, page 27