Colin Montgomerie marched into the history books at Wentworth Club when he became the first player to win the Volvo PGA Championship for three successive years. A final round of 69 gave him a winning 17 under par total of 271, three clear of Darren Clarke, Andrew Coltart and Lee Westwood.
Montgomerie was magnificent in holding off the challenges from three of his Ryder Cup teammates, pulling clear with a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th to seal victory. Europe’s Number One for the past seven seasons has now won three of the last four Volvo sponsored tournaments and seven Volvo tournaments in total since claiming the Volvo Masters in 1993. Including the Cisco World Match Play Championship, he has won the last three events to be staged on the West Course at Wentworth Club. Furthermore he became the first player to win the same event for three consecutive years since Nick Faldo won the Murphy’s Irish Open in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
“It’s a great honour for me to win this,” said Montgomerie. “It’s out flagship event. Everybody on the European Tour is playing and playing well. We had Lee Westwood on form after last week’s win and Darren Clarke is full of confidence after his win at La Costa. Andrew Coltart is finding great form and Sergio Garcia is always there and thereabouts. It’s nice to come out on top.
“The future is very, very bright in Europe and there are some very good players here who keep me competitive. The standard here is very, very good and I have to play at my best to stay up there.
“I’m thrilled at making history. No-one has ever done this before. It was close out there.”
Montgomerie started the final round three shots clear but by the seventh Coltart had drawn level with birdies at the second, fourth and seventh. But Montgomerie stepped up a gear, hitting back immediately with a birdie on the eighth to give himself some breathing space. Five holes later he was three clear and with his win he earned £250,000 to move to second place in the Volvo Order of Merit with 913,008 euro (£549,832) behind Darren Clarke (1,294,554 euro, £779,607).
Clarke shot an outstanding final round of 66, six under par with an eagle and six birdies. “I had a poor finish this morning and birdied neither 17 nor 18. That put my back against the wall. Had I been ten under I would have felt I would have had more of a chance. Today I just played as well as I could and finished as high as I could.
Montgomerie has played fantastic. He knew what he had to do and he did it.”
“I didn’t really hit it close enough in the middle of the round when Colin was starting to make his move,” said Coltart. “I didn’t keep any pressure on him.
“I would have loved to have won but can console myself with the points and world ranking points. This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year and this is where I want to be, challenging for the title.”
Westwood started the final day four adrift and was unable to maintain the form which saw him shoot a back nine of 30 in the third round. His 68 included four birdies without a dropped shot but it was not enough.
He said: “Today was a day of what could have been. I didn’t get anything to the hole all day. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I needed two 64’s to finish. With Monty shooting 70 in the third round I knew I needed another 64 today.
“I didn’t really put any pressure on him. You’ve got to hole putts if you are going to pull back a four shot deficit.”Final Day Video Highlights