Colin Montgomerie defeated Gene Sauers in a play-off to claim the US Senior Open title yesterday at Oak Tree National - his second major of the year.
Montgomerie failed to win in 71 PGA Tour majors and four Champions Tour majors until May this year. Now, he has won two of his past three majors, becoming the fifth golfer to win both the Senior PGA Championship and US Senior Open in the same year.
"You realise that in major golf, pars are usually good enough." - Colin Montgomerie
“You have to play intelligent golf,” said the 51-year-old. “I think I've matured enough to realise that and play more within myself sometimes, including today.”
Vital to the Scotsman’s success was his course management. “You have to play away from some pins so you don't make bogeys,” he said.
“You realise that in major golf, pars are usually good enough, especially in the USGA events.”
Bernhard Langer, who was among the leaders for most of the tournament entered the final day at four-under, but he had a poor back nine. He double-bogeyed 16 and finished six-over for the day, two-over for the tournament, leaving him in ninth.
Colin Montgomerie breaks play-off duck
Montgomerie reached another milestone by winning his first professional play-off in nine attempts. He famously lost to Ernie Els at the 1994 US Open and to Steve Elkington in sudden death at the 1995 PGA Championship. Now, he’s finally over the line.
"You have to wait to over age 50 to finally win one." - Colin Montgomerie
Montgomerie and Sauers entered the play-off at five-under. Montgomerie held a one-shot lead going into the third extra hole then sank a putt on 18 to par the hole, taking the title.
“I've been close in these USGA championships a couple of times," he said. "I've lost in a playoff and been one shot behind a couple of times, and you have to wait to over the age of 50 to finally win one."
Colin Montgomerie back to his best
The 2010 European Ryder Cup captain was full of confidence after the win and believes his game is as good as it’s ever been.
“My golf is as good as it was in the '90s, when I was No. 2 in the world,” said Monty. “It really is. I can't see any difference between that.”