Colin Montgomerie ended 24 years of Major Championship heartache with a comprehensive victory at the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid in Michigan.
The Scot, five times a runner-up in his 71 Major appearances before joining the senior ranks, carded a closing 65 at Harbor Shores to finish four shots clear of Tom Watson, with Bernhard Langer third, a unique achievement with European Senior Tour Members occupying the top three places.
Indeed with 18 of the 35 European Senior Tour members invited making the cut, it was an impressive week for those flying the Senior Tour flag globally.
An early birdie at the first from 20 feet was cancelled out by a bogey at the sixth, but Montgomerie had a hat-trick of gains form the eighth and picked up further shots at the 12th, 14th and 15th – all three courtesy of approaches to inside six feet.
Any doubts that the 50 year old was about to break his Major duck were firmly extinguished when Montgomerie’s pulled approach to the last bounced off the grandstand and onto the green, where moments later he tapped in for victory with a 13 under par total.
The win also represented the 2010 Ryder Cup captain’s first on American soil, and afterwards he said: “It’s been a long time. It’s a very special moment. We’ve come close on a number of occasions and it’s great to finally break that duck.
"To finish with one of those tap in putts, it's great to see it go to the bottom of the hole and you pick the ball out and it's a great feeling. I've been very lucky to have won 40 odd times worldwide and now that's 41. But this is very special, being a Major champion, being a Major Championship, and I treat it as such. I really do. It might well have a senior connotation to it, but it is a Major Championship and I'm thrilled to be part of this history. 75 years this has been going, it's been a long, long time. I just love to be now part of history."
Montgomerie has been so close on so many occasions, competing in more than 150 events in America across the PGA Tour and Champions Tour without tasting victory, but that all changed on Sunday May 25th, coincidentally also the same date as his late mother's birthday and his first PGA Championship victory at Wentworth.
"There's a motto, if you fail and fail, you come back and try again. I've had a couple of failures here in America and close calls, especially in Major Championships, and it's great to finally, finally win, never mind just a Champions Tour event, but a Senior PGA Championship event.
"It's great. I've been associated with the PGA of America for many, many years since I first started my Ryder Cup venture back in 1991. So I've been around the PGA for a long time and it's great to finally win an event run so well by themselves."
Watson matched Montgomerie’s round of 65 to surge through the field, while Langer’s 70 saw him finish in a share of third.
Montgomerie added: “Now I’ve beaten Bernhard Langer once I think I can probably do it one more time!
“To play with Bernhard on all four days – a friend and Ryder Cup colleague – has been great.”