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Sunday, October 17, 1999 Published at 18:01 GMT

Monty crowned Match Play king

Mark O'Meara lines up a long putt on the second green at Wentworth

Colin Montgomerie won his first World Match Play title, with an impressive victory over defending champion Mark O'Meara in the final at Wetworth.

Tony Adamson: "Montgomerie is arguably the best player in the world right now"
The European number one went ahead at the very first hole - and he never reliquinished the lead as he surged to a 3&2 triumph.

Montgomerie did most of the damage in the morning of the 36-hole final and he took a three-shot into the afternoon session.

And when he sank a four-foot putt for a par four at the 34th hole, the title was his.

Six of the best

Five clear after 16 holes, the 36-year-old Scot was brought back to only two ahead with seven to play - but he held on to claim a record-equalling sixth European victory of the season.

Colin Montgomerie talks to BBC golf correspondent Tony Adamson
The first prize of £170,000 means that in two visits to the Surrey course this year Montgomerie has won more than £386,000, having made a successful defence of the Volvo PGA championship in May.

He becomes the first British winner of the Matchplay crown since Nick Faldo in 1992 and finally gets his hands on the trophy at the eighth attempt.

O'Meara beat him five and four in last year's quarter-finals and he also lost to Ernie Els in the final five years ago.

World beater

Montgomerie revealed it was a trophy he had always wanted to win: "It's special because there's the world world on it.

"I got to the final back in 1994 and Ernie beat me and it's always nice to get back here and try to get to the final at least.

"Mark is a great competitor and I'm fortunate he didn't hole the putts this morning. I got a bit of a lead and I managed to hang on to it this afternoon."

O'Meara said he was lucky just to get through the week with his back and neck problems.

"I knew that not playing my best I really had to claw away out there, but I never really got on track," O'Meara said.

"Colin deserved to win, he showed the kind of champion he is.

"I knew I really would have to come out smokin' in the afternoon, but unfortunatley I didn't do that.

"Colin played smart golf, very composed golf and I just made too many mistakes."

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