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Golf: Surprise package Monty's reigning in Spain.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE, back as Europe's number one for the first time in six years, knows it might surprise some people that he is at this week's Madrid Open.

The total purse of pounds 688,000 is less than Tiger Woods earned atthe American Express world championship on Sunday.

"I committed to this event six months ago when I wasn't in last week's World Championship," said Montgomerie. Having begun the season outside the world's top 80, the Ryder Cup star did not have an exemption into a number of top events - the Masters and the US Open among them.

However, after finishing second in the Open in July, Montgomerie won the Dunhill links championship two weeks ago and his third-place finish at the weekend behind Woods lifted him to 14th in the world.

"I set top 25 as my target at the start of the year - and that was asking a helluva lot of myself," he said Only Michael Campbell and Retief Goosen can deny Montgomerie a record eighth Order of Merit crown and neither is playing in Madrid or at next week's Majorca Classic
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 13, 2005
Words:184
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