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Sunday, September 26, 1999 Published at 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK

Monty scales the heights

Colin Montgomerie (left) and partner Paul Lawrie plot their route to victory

Montgomerie & Lawrie (Eur) beat Woods & Pate (US) 2&1 to increase Europe's lead to 9½-5½

Colin Montgomerie showed just why he is rated as the cornerstone of the European team with an inspirational display to virtually single-handedly see off the threat of world number one Tiger Woods in Saturday's fourballs.

The BBC's Alan Green describes the moment when Woods failed to hole his putt to give Montgomerie and Lawrie their win
With his partner and fellow Scot Paul Lawrie struggling to find his form in the afternoon, Montgomerie produced arguably his finest ever putting performance to secure a 2&1 win over Woods and Steve Pate.

The European number one was at his most explosive, determined to prove himself in front of the hostile American galleries who have plagued his transatlantic visits.

Time and again the Europeans looked like slumping to defeat against an in-form American pairing who had beaten Miguel Angel Jimenez and Padraig Harrington in the morning foursomes.

But time and again Montgomerie defied the odds, dragging Lawrie to victory in the kind of nerve-jangling contest that only the Ryder Cup can serve up.

Monty hit six birdies in all and Lawrie enthused: "He was playing fantastic today and putted beautifully."

Pate off to a flyer

Pate, after winning his first Brookline outing in the morning, began the afternoon in equally determined fashion - and he chipped in for a birdie at the first to give the US an instant lead.

With the US up in all four matches on the course, Montgomerie eased Europe's nerves with a steely birdie putt at the third to level the contest.

[ image: A dejected Woods faces up to the prospect of his third defeat at Brookline]
A dejected Woods faces up to the prospect of his third defeat at Brookline
The big Scot has been putting like a demon throughout the transatlantic showdown - and he continued his brilliant form with a birdie at the fourth.

But Pate won the sixth for the Americans and then followed that with a superb tee-shot to within 18 inches for a two at the short seventh.

Montgomerie squared the match with a 15ft birdie putt at the next hole - but only after yet another taunt from spectators around the green just as he was about to play his shot.

That gave Monty three birdies for the front nine - but his partner Lawrie was struggling to keep up, sending a 6ft chance for his first birdie tamely past the hole.

But if Lawrie was showing signs of fatigue in his fourth straight match, Montgomerie was just getting better and better.

The senior partner nearly holed a glorious 160-yard second shot at the tenth, the ball pitching right on the lip of the hole before dropping stone-dead for a birdie three.

Woods still fancied his chances with a 25ft chip from just off the green - but the ball held up just short of the hole and Europe moved one-up.

Lawrie missed another gilt-edged birdie chance at the 11th - and a typically audacious scramble from the trees by Woods earned the Americans a half.

Home team on top

With news of further home successes filtering through, the Americans were suddenly in inspired form.

A fantastic bounding second from Pate at the long par-four 12th again pegged the Scots back to all-square.

Woods then lashed a 200-yard second into the heart of the green at the par-five 14th - but he missed the 10ft eagle chance and Montgomerie salvaged an unlikely half.

Montgomerie was putting like he has never done before - and yet another testing birdie chance was holed at the 15th to put Europe one-up with three to play.

Now came Lawrie's big moment.

The second string Scot had failed to provide Montgomerie with adequate support - but at the par-three 16th he hit his tee shot to a foot from the pin and holed out for his first victory of the afternoon to put Europe into an unassailable position.

And when Woods missed a 10ft chance for a birdie that would have taken the match up the last, Montgomerie had achieved a deserved victory.

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