COLIN MONTGOMERIE is hoping an improved putting performance in the MCB Tour Championship this week will produce a fitting finale to another superb season on the European Senior Tour.
Montgomerie has already claimed two titles this term, including a successful defence of his US Senior PGA Championship crown in May, and a third victory of the campaign at Constance Belle Mare Plage – or even a top-10 finish – would see the Scot break his own record for earnings in a single season.
But if the Scot is to better his previous performances – he finished tied sixth in both 2013 and 2014 – and perhaps even succeed Paul Wesselingh as champion, the 51-year-old declared that his work on the greens would need to improve significantly.
He said: “You have to keep the ball very straight from the tee round here, but that’s never been too much of an issue for me. Where I have struggled is on the greens, where the grain makes it difficult to read the putts.
“So I haven’t putted as well as I would’ve liked for the last two years, especially from six feet and in. You really have to hole most, if not all of those if you’re going to win any tournament, but especially one as prestigious and competitive as this. So if I can hole out better this week, then I’ll have every chance because there’s not a lot wrong with my ball striking at the moment.”
Testament to the quality of Montgomerie’s ball striking have been his form figures this season, with top-three finishes in all four of his appearances on the Senior Tour to date.
Such impressive performances have inevitably resulted in another John Jacobs Trophy, as the man affectionately known as Monty has already amassed an unassailable lead at the top of the Order of Merit.
However, with the competitive fires still burning as brightly as ever, Montgomerie is determined to maintain his proud record of never having finished outside the top six in any regular Senior Tour event since joining the over-50s ranks two years ago.
He said: “You ask any sports person and they’ll say you’re a long time retired so try to make your career last as long as you possibly can. And I fully intend to do that. I still thrive on that competitive element, which is what keeps me going even after all these years on the Tour. The standard is very high, and I still love competing.
“I’ve got a whole month off after this week, and it’d be very nice to go into that break with a win under my belt. I’ve got the family here this week, so I think I might need to win just to break even. On a serious note, it’s great to finish the season here in Mauritius. This place really is as good as it gets, and hopefully I can put on a performance that matches the surroundings.”