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GOLF: TNT KING WESTWOOD WANTS EUROPE WAR; Lee blast at Monty.

TNT Dutch Open champion Lee Westwood last night warned Colin Montgomerie he faces a battle to remain European No.1.

Westwood ran Monty close last season but the Scot finally prevailed to claim his sixth consecutive Order of Merit title.

However, the 26-year-old from Worksop - whose pounds 133,000 first prize in Hilversum lifted him to fourth in the money list - is determined to try to prevent Monty from making it a magnificent seven.

Westwood, who beat Gary Orr of Scotland by one stroke, said: "I'd love another battle with Monty this year but with a different result.

"It's nice to be back in the chase with my first win of the year.

"I'm still quite a way behind Colin but it's a big week next week and back-to-back wins is not out of the question."

After a poor opening round of 72, Westwood discovered some rhythm on the Dutch greens and followed up with rounds of 68, 66, and 63 to win and move up to second in the Ryder Cup table behind Montgomerie.

He added: "I wasn't sure how far my new clubs were going to go so I got TNT to bring my old set out after the first round - and they arrived 45 minutes before my second round.

"For the next three rounds I was 16 under and then I holed three putts over 15 feet.

"I'm still not entirely happy with my putting but it's a lot better than it was and obviously I'm delighted."

Orr, who blew it after three-putting for a bogey, said: "It's no big deal, it's only a game of golf. I player pretty well but just made a couple of silly mistakes."

Darren Clarke had to settle for a share of fifth place after a closing 70, while Bernhard Langer's tie for 15th and Andrew Coltart's joint-20th finish were enough to move them into ninth and 10th respectively in the Ryder Cup points standings.

Meanwhile, Craig Ronald's 54-hole total of 208 was good enough to beat defending champion Gordon Law at the Montrose Links professional tournament yesterday. Colin Gillies finished third on 209.

Big names Hilary Monaghan and Alison Rose have been left out of the team for the Home International matches in September.

The controversial move by Scottish Ladies Golfing Association selectors follows an inquiry into Scotland's 13th place in the European women's amateur team championship in Paris earlier this month.

The team is Karyn Burns, Lesley Mackay, Heather Stirling, Sheena Wood, Claire Hargan, Anne Laing, Lesley Nicholson and Jayne Smith.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Rankin, Dale
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 27, 1999
Words:422
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