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Colin Wins Loch Lomond

Colin Montgomerie stole the spotlight from Spanish rookie Sergio Garcia with a masterful 64 Saturday that carried him from four strokes back to a three-stroke victory in the Loch Lomond tournament.

Although he started and finished with bogeys, the Scot had a run of nine birdies in 12 holes in the middle of his round to finally gain an individual victory on his native Scottish soil.

"How could I possible feel any better than I do right now," he said after his final round before playing in the British Open on the other coast at Carnoustie.

"I can only go into the British Open with confidence and that's what many players can't say."

Montgomerie won with a 268 total, three strokes better than the 19-year-old Garcia and Swedes Mats Lanner and Michael Jonzon.

"I just feel very proud right now to have won on the western coast of Scotland where I'm from," Montgomerie said of his third victory of the season.

"Of all the victories, and I think that's 20 now, this has to be the most special."

The cheers from his adoring gallery became louder by the hole as the Scot overtook eight players ahead of him and charged to the top of the leaderboard.

"It got quite emotional out there when I realized I had gone ahead but I still managed to it the ball exactly in the right directions and, at 15 and 16, I got the perfect yardages. At 16 we had 203 and I hit 203," Montgomerie said.

His control of his irons meant that most approaches to the green finished within 4 or 5 feet from the pin.

"They were all close," he said. "If I had missed any of those putts I would have been very upset. To have nine birdies in 12 holes on a course of this quality and against a field of this quality with so many of them ahead of me, was very important to me."

Montgomerie's charge started with a birdie at the fifth. From the seventh, he birdied four holes in a row, saved par with a stunning approach from a bad greenside lie and then birdied 12 and 13 as well to go 15-under and tie for the lead. The birdies at 15 and 16 opened up a two-stroke lead.

On the way, he passed Garcia, who won his first tournament as a pro last Sunday and opened this event with a round of 62, and defending champion Lee Westwood, who began the final round one stroke ahead of the field.

Garcia finished with a 68 for a share of second place and a place among the top 10 on Europe's Ryder Cup points list. Although he didn't win his second title, Garcia is almost certain to be on the lineup against the United States at Brookline, Mass. Sept. 24-26.

Garcia had six birdies, including three in a row from the 12th to go 15-under, and just missed another at the 15th. He would have finished second by himself but bogeyed the 16th and the 18th holes to finish at 271.

"It was tough because (Montgomerie) played great today," the Spaniard said. "I looked are the scoeboard and he was just making birdies and birdies and birdies. He played marvelous on the last round and I congratulate him."

Lanner also had the chance to take second place on his own but missed a 6-foot putt at the last hole while Jonzon closed with a 5-under 66 for a share of second place.

Westwood was out in 33 and looked in good shape to keep his title. But he drove into bushes at 10, had a double bogey 6 and wound up with a 71 for 272 and a share of fifth place.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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