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Monty and Westwood warm up for Ryder Cup; GOLF.

SCOT Colin Montgomerie knows it and just about every European golf fan knows it.

If America are to be beaten in the Ryder Cup starting in Boston in 13 days then Montgomerie and Lee Westwood have to be on top form.

So a look at the leaderboard at the Victor Chandler British Masters at Woburn today made happy reading.

Montgomerie, trying to equal the European tour record of six wins in a single season, led by three at halfway on the 13-under-par total of 131.

Westwood, seeking to equal a record of four successive wins on this side of the Atlantic, lies second.

Their eyeball-to-eyeball clash this afternoon was, Montgomerie stated, ''good for the tour, good for the tournament - and good for two weeks' time''.

With the high-pressure, mentally draining Ryder Cup just around the corner Montgomerie is enjoying the diversion created by Westwood's challenge to his position as European number one.

The 36-year-old Scot has occupied that position since 1993 and currently leads by nearly pounds 350,000.

But Westwood, the 26-year-old from Worksop, has won his last three events in Europe and is this weekend attempting to equal the record of four in a row set by Seve Ballesteros and last achieved by Nick Faldo 10 years ago.

''We're spurring each other on,'' said Montgomerie.

''It's been a long time since someone has overtaken me, and I will congratulate anybody who eventually beats me. ''Lee seems the best of the challengers.''

STONELEIGH PARK'S Matt McGuire raced through the field in the pounds 30,000 Commer Inns Mastercard tournament at Rudding Park, Harrogate, after a sparkling third round of 66 yesterday.

With just a half-hour break between rounds he then fired a one-under par 71 in the final round to finish with an aggregate of 280, eight under par, to finish in a share of ninth place. His morning round left him tantalisingly one shot away from the course record set earlier this week by Hinckley's Jonathan Herbert, who ended with rounds of 70 and 69 for a 177 total and joint fourth position. ames Cook (Leamington and County) had a final round of 70 to finish on 282.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 11, 1999
Words:360
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