Montgomerie determined to return to the top

3/16/2011 4:01:27 PM
Colin Montgomerie  (Getty Images)
Colin Montgomerie (Getty Images)
Former Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie insists he is capable of returning to the game's elite - and wants to start proving it at this week's Sicilian Open.

Montgomerie last recorded a top-ten finish on The European Tour in June 2008 and he has not won for four years.

But the 47 year old feels he is capable of getting back to the big time now he is concentrating on his own game, having orchestrated Europe's thrilling victory at The Celtic Manor Resort last October.

"I believe that I can win again - I need to win again because I want to get back into the top 50 in the world and I want to compete at the very highest level again," said the Scot.

"The quickest way to do that is by winning and that is certainly the aim, hopefully this is the start of me making my way back.

"And it would be nice to win in Italy for the first time - I have been coming here for 23 years and have never won in this country so it's about time I started!"

The eight-time European Order of Merit winner also endorsed the new Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA venue, as The European Tour breaks new ground on the return to its home continent for the first time in 2011.

"The course is very good - a very good layout and we have a discovered a great new destination for The European Tour here in Sicily," added Montgomerie.

"It was very, very windy today in the pro-am so difficult to get a sense of scoring conditions for the tournament but I am very much looking forward to the week ahead and trying to get that win that I need."

Another player hoping to rediscover his best form is Dane Søren Hansen.

A Ryder Cup star in 2009, Hansen is now 135th in the Official Golf World Ranking and, like Montgomerie, has not won since 2007 - although he did have his confidence boosted by a sixth-place finish in Qatar last month.

"The course seems very scoreable as long as the conditions are favourable," said Hansen - who is hoping to mark his 37th birthday with victory on Sunday.

"The course is great, good lay-out and I think that Gary Player has done a very good job here. There is a lot of undulation but Gary has done a great job fitting in the holes properly. When you look around it might not look impressive but it is very enjoyable to play.

"I have had three weeks off, watching the other boys playing in America which was fantastic but it is nice to be back out and have the chance to try and climb back up those rankings and get back into those major events."