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Monday, 21 March 2005
Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie heads the field at this week’s Enjoy Jakarta Standard Chartered Indonesian Open knowing that victory will almost certainly secure him a place in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, and consequently, entry into the first Major Championship of the season at the Masters Tournament.

Montgomerie, who holed the winning putt in Europe’s record breaking Ryder Cup victory over the United States last September, is one of golf’s most recognised players and will be the star name in the field as The European Tour visits Indonesia for the first time in its history.

The 41 year old needs to take the top prize at the Cengkareng Golf Club, Jakarta, Indonesia, to all but guarantee his place at the year’s first Major Championship at Augusta National, Georgia, from April 7-10.

Montgomerie has played in every Masters Tournament since 1992 and will be hoping that he can secure a 14th consecutive appearance at Augusta by following up his sixth place finish in last week’s TCL Classic with a 29th European Tour victory on Sunday.

He said: “A win anywhere in the world is good, but winning the first ever European Tour event in Jakarta would be great. I’m looking forward to playing in Indonesia as I’ve heard many exciting things about golf in the country and I’m eager to experience the beauty of playing golf on the renowned courses of Jakarta.”

Montgomerie will meet strong resistance in Indonesia with the likes of Asia’s Number One Player, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, and the in form Paul McGinley of Ireland.

Jaidee made history as the first Thai player to win on The European Tour International Schedule last season at the Carlsberg Malaysian Open, a title which he managed to successfully defend last month.

McGinley, meanwhile, shares with Montgomerie the honour of having holed the winning putt at The Ryder Cup after his momentous day at The De Vere Belfry in 2002 and moves from last week’s TCL Classic knowing that he is in fine form.

It took a sudden-death play-off to separate the Irishman and eventual winner England’s Paul Casey in China after McGinley had produced an outstanding final round of nine under par 63 to tie his Ryder Cup team mate and force the tournament into extra holes.

Such a thrilling conclusion would be a fitting way for The European Tour’s maiden visit to Indonesia to come to a close on Sunday, and few would be surprised if Montgomerie and McGinley were involved.

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