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Friday, November 28, 1997 Published at 13:27 GMT


Monty named Golfer of the Year
image: [ Monty claims Golfer of the Year title for third time in a row ]
Monty claims Golfer of the Year title for third time in a row

Colin Montgomerie has been named the tour's Golfer of the Year, after becoming the first player to finish top of the European money list five times in a row.

It is the third time that the 34-year-old Scot has won the award.

Other leading candidates were Els, Ryder Cup captain Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer and newcomers Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood.

Montgomerie, who made the halfway cut in all 19 European tour events he entered, carded a total of 325 birdies and 13 eagles to wind up 177 under par for the season.

In addition to capturing the Order of Merit again, Montgomerie was leading points-scorer against the Americans at Valderrama, winning twice with Bernhard Langer, once with Darren Clarke and then achieving the half against Scott Hoch that gave Europe overall victory.

His final tee shot in that game was named shot of the year on Wednesday, but he says "Winning with Darren was probably the high point of the year for me.

"It was the first time I'd found myself in a father figure-type role and to beat Fred Couples and Davis Love and give Darren his first win - after he hadn't played on the first day - was just great."

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