Colin Montgomerie overcame his play-off jinx to take first prize in the Million Dollar Challenge in Sun City, South Africa, yesterday.
Montgomerie beat South Africa's Ernie Els at the third extra hole after both men had tied on 14 under par after four rounds. The European No 1 secured his first win in six play-off attempts when he birdied the par- four 18th. Both players had parred the first two holes.
Montgomerie gained some measure of revenge for the victory Els scored over him in a three-way play-off which also included America's Lauren Roberts at the 1994 US Open.
After his victory, Montgomerie admitted fortune favoured his brave approach to the third play-off hole. "I was a little bit fortunate, but what the hell?" he said. "I birdied a few holes early on, which helped. I saw others like Ian Woosnam having problems and that gave me confidence.
The play-off crowned a thrilling final day which saw Els shoot birdies at the final two holes for a final round of 66, while Montgomerie finished with a four-under-par 68.
Both men were just one shot ahead of Zimbabwe's Nick Price and the US Open champion, Steve Jones, as all 12 players in the event finished under par.
Woosnam, the joint overnight leader, slipped back to fifth place with a 73 while Nick Faldo, the US Masters champion, was in a three-way tie for ninth place after a final 73. Price and Woosnam saw their hopes falter during the first nine holes, Woosnam dropping four shots and Price one.
n The world No 1, Greg Norman, failed by one stroke to overhaul fellow Australian Peter Senior and win his own tournament in Melbourne. Senior shot a final round of 70 to finish on seven-under-par 281 and win the Greg Norman Classic. Norman had a second successive round of 69 for a total of 282.
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