Monty Leaves Driver at Home to Avoid Losing US Open

Published June 10th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Europe's number one golfer Colin Montgomerie has been forced to leave his latest weapon at home or risk disqualification from the US Open. 

The 36-year-old Scotsman has been using the controversial new Callaway driver (the ERC) as he attempts to head the European money list for a record breaking eighth successive time but the club may be illegal in the States. 

Although legal in Asia and Europe, Callaway have decided not to sell the club in America because it might breech the United States Golf Association's (USGA) new regulations restricting the so-called 'trampoline effect' of some drivers. 

But new driver or not, Montgomerie is relishing his return to the course where he came within a whisker of winning the 1992 US Open. 

Jack Nicklaus was so convinced that Montgomerie had won that on television he greeted him after his final round with the words: "Congratulations on winning your first US Open." 

But Tom Kite, who was still out on the course, had other ideas and came home to finish three shots ahead. 

"I think it would have hurt my career," said the Scot, who has still to win a major. 

"I probably wasn't ready. I'm not glad I didn't win, but at the same time I probably would have suffered having to go out knowing people were looking at me as US Open champion. 

"I possibly wasn't ready to perform at that level at that time. I am now." 

Montgomerie has not lost his desire for the US Open, despite having come agonizingly close three times in his eight attempts and falling short each time. 

"The US Open is without question the major most suited to my game," says Montgomerie,” – (AFP)

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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