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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 July 2007, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Monty win ends Tour title drought
Colin Montgomerie
The win is Montgomerie's first since the 2005 Hong Kong Open
FINAL ROUND LEADERBOARD:
-11 C Montgomerie (Sco)
-10 N Fasth (Swe)
-9 P Hanson (Swe), G Havret (Fr), A Wall (Eng), P Edberg (Swe)
Selected others
-7 S Khan (Eng), R Rock (Eng)
-5 G McDowell (NI) (Eng)
-1 D Howell (Eng), A Forsyth (Sco)
Level P Harrington (Ire)

Colin Montgomerie claimed his first Tour victory since 2005 after a thrilling finish to the European Open.

The 44-year-old Scot had seven birdies and survived nervy moments on the final two holes for a 65 which left him leading in the clubhouse on 11 under.

The final round was punctuated by two suspensions, the second coming with challenger Niclas Fasth on the 18th tee needing a birdie to draw level.

When play resumed, Fasth only managed a par-three to leave him in second place.

Montgomerie was four strokes behind overnight leader Soren Hansen at the start of play and three birdies in his opening six holes put him back in contention.

This is not an important win - it's a very, very important win

Colin Montgomerie

He had a bogey six at the 7th, birdies at 10 and 11 and although he dropped another shot at the 13th, a birdie three at the 14th placed him on 10 under before play was stopped for around 50 minutes because of the threat of lightning.

At that stage Fasth was leading by one shot after four birdies in a flawless 11 holes but he struggled when play resumed.

He immediately carded two bogeys to drop to nine under while Montgomerie fired a birdie at the 15th to take a two-stroke lead.

Montgomerie then produced two fine up and downs after poor tee shots at the final two holes left him perilously close to the water hazards.

Fasth then moved to within a shot of Montgomerie with a birdie at the 15th but missed an eight-foot birdie putt at the 17th before play was suspended again.

When the players returned to the course, the Swede missed a 14-foot birdie putt at the last which would have forced a play-off.

Montgomerie had to wait before victory was confirmed as Hansen, who faded with bogeys at the 4th, 10th and 14th, played out his final-round 72 to end up on eight under.

Hansen, who was two ahead going into the final day, lost a one-shot lead in the fourth round of the French Open last week.

606: DEBATE

The win means that Montgomerie has surpassed Nick Faldo as the top British and Irish winner on the European Tour. He has 31 victories compared to Faldo's 30.

"I am thrilled," said Montgomerie. "It's nice to silence a few critics who said I wouldn't win a tournament again.

"Any win sounds good right now, it is two years of a dry spell and it is fantastic for me.

"This is not an important win - it's a very, very important win. When you go so long without a win you wonder whether it's going to happen again. You do have doubts.

"I'm now one win above Nick Faldo, someone I have admired for many, many years. It means an awful lot to me."



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