This week marks 20 years since Colin Montgomerie hit driver off the deck on the 72nd hole to all-but seal victory in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the most audacious, the most memorable of fashions.
Montgomerie, who was near neck-and-neck with playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez at the time, found the green in two mighty blows thanks to an effort which was crowned 1996 European Tour Shot of the Year.
“It took a brave shot to get the job done,” recalled Montgomerie recently. “There is that risk-reward element but this time I got the reward.
“I came to the hole one ahead of Miguel Angel Jimenez and he had out-driven me; he was about ten yards ahead of me in the semi-rough. He showed me his cards if you think of it in poker terms by taking out his three wood – which meant he was going for it.
“I had a six iron in my hand and I said to my caddie Alastair, ‘If he goes for it and makes birdie we are going to a play-off. What about if you give me my driver?’ It was the only club I could get there with – my three wood wasn’t reaching because it was into the wind.
“’Can we get there?’ I asked. He said, ‘Yeah but you’ll have to hit it out of the middle.’ Off the toe, off the heel, off the bottom, it wasn’t making it.
“I haven’t taken that many risks in my career. 99 times out of 100 I would have laid up and taken my chance with a 15-footer for birdie but on this occasion we decided to go for it and this time, it paid off.”
Two years ago, Tom Greaves and the Access All Areas crew asked Monty to re-create that moment of history and what happened next proved pretty entertaining…
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