Monty is content to stay at home

Golf
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The Independent Online
Colin Montgomerie's failure to win the US Open earlier this month will not persuade him pack his bags and join Nick Faldo in America.

"Number one in my life is not golf," the Scot said yesterday on the eve of the French Open in Paris. "In fact, it's not even second or third. If I was a bachelor or newly married, I think I would have gone to the States full time by now. But my family come first, then it's relaxing and being at home.

"There will be no change in my schedule next season. I'm planning to play 20 tournaments in Europe again and only eight to 10 in America.

"If waiting for a major really started to bother me, I would consider joining their tour. But I've not reached that stage, and to uproot my family would put me under so much pressure."

Montgomerie was one off the lead in Detroit with six to play, but he double-bogeyed the short 13th and eventually dropped to 10th.

"I gave everything I had at Oakland Hills and I was mentally whacked by the finish," he said. "I hit most fairways and most greens again, and I feel that one of these times my green work will be up to that level and I will win. I feel that it will happen and it's just a matter of being patient. "

Seve Ballesteros goes into tournament having fallen out of the world's top 50 for the first time since the ranking system began 10 years ago. However, Ballesteros, who did not qualify for the US Open a fortnight ago and has not had a top 10 finish since his 54th European tour victory at the Spanish Open in May last year, remains sanguine about his future.

The 39-year-old, world No 1 seven years ago, spoke about the possibility of picking himself for next year's Ryder Cup at Valderrama. On being appointed Europe's captain earlier this year, Ballesteros insisted on a new rule which allows him to drop out of the side even if he qualifies. That still applies, but equally he says that if he does not qualify he could hand himself a wild card.

"My decision will be based not on results, but on a feeling," he said. "I will not play if I feel I am not going to make a good contribution, but if I think I can I will pick myself. "

Ballesteros, who won the first of his four French titles in 1977, has not appeared in the championship since it moved to Le Golf National five years ago. The course has also attracted Bernhard Langer for the first time and 11 members of last year's Ryder Cup side are taking part. The only absentee is Faldo.

The event is part of the run-in to the Open championship at Royal Lytham in three weeks' time. That is a week to which Ballesteros is looking forward. He won his first major at course in 1979 and triumphed there again eight years ago, thanks to a closing 65.

"There are always places where you can see yourself scoring better than others and that's one of them. It's a fantastic course and I just hope that my game is good when I get there."

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