Sunday, 24 May 2015
Colin Montgomerie with the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy after winning the Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid  (Getty Images)
Colin Montgomerie with the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy after winning the Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid (Getty Images)

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Colin Montgomerie made a successful defence of his Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid title to win his third Senior Major in the past 12 months.

The Scot claimed the first event of the 2015 European Senior Tour season with a four stroke victory over the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, firing a closing 69 for an eight under par 280.

That was enough for a comfortable win ahead of Mexico’s Esteban Toledo with American Woody Austin a further shot back. Bernhard Langer, who started the final round trailing Montgomerie by three in the last pairing, closed with a two over par 74 to finish sixth.

Sandy Lyle also finished in the top ten in a share of ninth with Mark McNulty and Steve Jones on two over, with Roger Chapman, winner of the Senior PGA Championship in 2012, a further shot back in tied 13th place.

Montgomerie did not get off to the best of starts with a bogey on his opening hole, but a effectively sealed victory with a stunning run of five birdies in eight holes from the fifth and through the turn. A dropped shot on the 15th was regained with an immediate birdie, paving the way for a comfortable stroll up the last, where the late bogey made little difference.

"It was a difficult position to be in at the start of the day, being three ahead," said Montgomerie, who called Dye's design one of the "iconic courses" in America.

"There was nowhere to go but down, with every hole out there a potential double bogey. I could never relax, I could never relax at all.

"It was very, very tiring mentally. Every shot had to be executed, or you could be in trouble. That's a test and a half.

"But when I holed the putt at 12, I felt safe. I knew how tough that finish would be for everyone, so if I played safe I knew I probably couldn't be caught. It's an amazing feeling to win this great Championship again."

Montgomerie's victory extended an unprecedented streak in the Senior PGA Championship. International players have now won the event in four consecutive years, with Chapman taking the title in 2012, Japan's Khoki Idoki in 2013 and now Montgomerie in successive seasons.

 

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