Monty makes history after epic battle at Woburn

Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie became the first player to win the same title in three consecutive years on both The European Tour and Senior Tour at Woburn when he beat fellow Scot Ross Drummond at the second extra hole of an epic climax to the Travis Perkins Masters.

The 52 year old birdied the 18th hole in regulation play to squeeze into the play-off and then rolled in an 18 foot birdie putt at the second play-off hole to win a trophy which the sponsors decided he could keep permanently to commemorate his achievement of winning it in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

It was the cruellest of conclusions for Drummond, who had victory within his grasp before three putting the final green to record a closing 69 and a five under par total of 211.

After 490 starts on The European Tour and a further 125 on the Senior Tour, it had appeared that he would finally win a Tour title at the age of 58 years and 281 days.

However, that fatal glitch on the final hole provided the chink of light which his much decorated rival needed.

Montgomerie knew that nothing less than a birdie would suffice on the 18th, and smashed it to within 15 paces of the front of the green. From there he chipped to two feet and holed out for a round of 71.

The first play-off hole was halved in par fours. Back the pair of protagonists went to the 18th tee and Drummond had to pitch from behind the green once more to make his par.

However, Montgomerie needed no second invitation and his 18 footer unerringly found the centre of the hole.

Monty was generous in his praise for the runner-up, who had played brilliantly all week, and especially under the cosh when leading for most of the final day.

He said: “How can you not feel sorry for someone who played the difficult holes so well?

“The 15th, 16th and 17th are all good, difficult golf holes and Ross did all the difficult stuff very well.

“You have to feel sorry for him getting so close, but I am sure this will give him a lot of confidence to go forward.”

Montgomerie then reflected on the enormity of his latest achievement. The three-time Senior Major champion was overwhelmed by his latest effort.

He said: “I always thought my performance at Wentworth in 1998, 1999 and 200 was the best I could do.

“Winning three times in a row was really hard on The European Tour, so that was probably the ultimate accolade in my golfing career.

“But I have to say this comes extremely close to emulating that.

“I came here to Woburn with a lot of pressure on me as the favourite to win and it’s sometimes harder to achieve when something is expected of you.”