Wales, the least-rated side among the three British teams drawn together in the Alfred Dunhill Cup, are set to vindicate their inclusion in the field this year by qualifying for the semi-finals of the Alfred Dunhill Cup at St.Andrews. Having already beaten England 3-0, the Welsh trio of Ian Woosnam, Phil Price and David Park can now afford to lose 2-1 to Scotland on Saturday and still make it into the last four.
The Welsh team have not been included for the last three years, so victories over England and Germany have been sweet music to their ears. Price, who has enjoyed a superb season in Europe and more recently in America, said: "It's a nice position to be in, but I still don't think that it will be that easy.”
Team captain Woosnam won his match with Bernhard Langer, so it did not matter that David Park was beaten by a 19th-hole birdie from Sven Struver. Wales were last in the semi-finals in 1991 and lost that only when Price was beaten at the fifth extra hole to Swede Mats Lanner.
Woosnam plays Montgomerie in the very first game of the day at 9am, followed by Park against Coltart and then Price, runner-up to Tiger Woods at the NEC world championship in August, against Orr.
In the other group one match top seeds Scotland got their first victory in seven attempts against England. However Montgomerie, who birdied the last to beat Brian Davis 69-70, knows that the Scots can beat Wales 3-0 but still fail to progress if Germany whitewash England.
"It's never a good thing relying on England against Germany. We might have to go and cheer for them," joked the Scottish captain. Andrew Coltart had his 12th win in 16 games, beating England captain Jamie Spence by five, but Gary Orr, having matched Montgomerie's closing putt, saw his pitch to the first extra hole spin back into the burn and lost to Roger Chapman.
Past champions Ireland are out of the running for the title as are the United States, unseeded for the first time in the history of the event, who lost their second straight game by 3-0 to Argentina.
That group is now between Argentina and Australia.
The Irish lost 3-0 to fourth seeds South Africa – back to back winners in 1997 and 1998 - and despite their opening victory over fifth seeds New Zealand cannot now go through.