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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 07:04 GMT
Monty says he is better than ever
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie reckons he is playing the best golf of his career after winning the prestigious European Order of Merit for the eighth time on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Scot finished third at the Volvo Masters to top the standings for the first time since 1999.

"I'm a better player now than I ever have been," he told BBC Sport.

"Every year that I won the Order of Merit I had to improve. Then there was a six-year gap, so the improvement had to be that much more."

Montgomerie has had a superb year, ending his 19-month wait for a title by winning the Dunhill Links at the start of October and finishing third at the WGC-American Express a week later.

But he credits his latest Order of Merit success to his Open performance at St Andrews, where he was runner-up to world number one Tiger Woods.

"The Open certainly gave me a huge boost back in July," said the Ryder Cup star.

The Ryder Cup team looks very good again and I'm looking forward to competing
Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie is regarded as one of the best players never to have won a major.

He has not given up hope of bagging one of the four big tournaments but indicated to the BBC's Iain Carter that it would not bother him if he did not break his duck.

"I won't go down as winning majors but I will go down with Orders of Merits and Ryder Cups," said the Scot.

In fact, the biennial clash with the Americans seems to be the main focus for Montgomerie these days.

After winning the Order of Merit on Sunday, he was quick to highlight the fact that several leading Europeans had performed well at Valderrama, especially winner Paul McGinley.

And with the next Ryder Cup in Ireland just 11 months away, Montgomerie insisted the showing in Spain boded well for a successful defence at the K Club.

"In the first five places in Spain were Paul McGinley, Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, Jose Maria Olazabal and myself," he said.

"That's almost half the team - and it's a strong half of the team. The Ryder Cup team looks very good again and I'm looking forward to competing again, especially in Ireland."




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