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July 11, 2014

Montgomery took 22 years to win his first American tournament

Edmond — It’s pretty much a consensus of opinion that Bernhard Langer is the  favorite to capture the 35th U.S. Senior Open Championship at Oak Tree this week. But in the same breath, Colin Montgomerie of Great Britain is considered a solid contender to lift the championship trophy on Sunday.

“Who me?” asked Montgomerie. “You do know that it took me 22 years to finally win a 72-hole stroke play event in the states,” he said, referring to his four-stroke victory in the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores. Montgomerie shot a 6-under-par 65 in the final round.

“Yeah, in Britain we call that an overnight success, 22 years of trying,” he laughed. “But truthfully it was a delight to finally win a 72-hole stroke play event in the states. I have won match play events but never a stroke play event. So delighted to do that.

“And especially when you see the top four that week, Bernhard Langer, Jay Haas and Tom Watson, when you see these guys just behind you, it makes it ever more meaningful when you do happen to win such a big event as that, as our U.S. PGA seniors.

“It gives me more confidence knowing it’s been done before, so it can be done again. I look forward, so much look forward, to the 35th U.S. Senior Open. And I have come close, as did I in the U.S. PGA, I came close there and I have come close in your own U.S. Open and I’d love to try and go one better than I have done before. So we’ll see,” he added.

Montgomerie is not without significant accomplishments. He is a 31-time winner on the European Tour, eight-time winner of the Order of Merit; and a 2000 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He’s had three top 10s last year in the Champions Tour in 10 starts. 

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