November 19, 2008 – Colin Montgomerie is hoping a good performance in this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open will kick-start his attempts to climb back up the world rankings.
The Scottish legend is the most prolific British winner in European Tour history with 31 titles and has won the Order of Merit an unprecedented eight times.
But his last individual victory came in July last year and he has dropped to 118 in the world rankings.
“I’ve got to get back inside that top 100 in a hurry and then back inside the top 50 to compete on the world stage again,” said Montgomerie, 45.
“I still feel that, without question, I should be in the top 50. It’s just a matter of proving it, mainly to myself.
“I’m exempt through to 2015 on the European Tour [as a result of his 2005 Order of Merit success] and I intend to be playing golf until that stage.
“If I can get back in that top 50 and remain there for the next six years, I’ll be very happy, so that’s a goal.”
Montgomerie won the UBS Hong Kong Open in 2005 and he is one of eight former winners taking part in this week’s 50th edition of the event.
The tournament tees off on Thursday (November 20) at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.
The top-class field includes defending champion Miguel ángel Jiménez, former Hong Kong winners José María Olazábal and Bernhard Langer and PGA Tour star Rory Sabbatini.
Former US Open champion Michael Campbell is also in the line-up together with two-time Major winner John Daly.
Montgomerie has a liking for Hong Kong in general and Fanling’s par-70 Championship Course in particular.
“I like the golf course,” he said. “I’m not the longest hitter on tour and, while I never was, I have control, and this is a course where you need control more than you need length or power. I prefer this type of golf nowadays.
“I like the Hong Kong Golf Club and I love the city. My wife is here with me and we’re having a great time.”
Montgomerie believes the omens are good for another success at Fanling after he played in the winning pro-am team on Wednesday (November 19).
“It’s funny, the last time I won here in 2005, I won the pro-am, and I’ve just won the pro-am again,” he joked with reporters. “So it’s written in the stars!”