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Montgomerie Takes Match Play


Colin Montgomerie, taking pain killers to numb an infected tooth, won his first World Match Play title Sunday, defeating defending champion Mark O'Meara 3 and 2 in a final he led from the first hole.

The victory was Montgomerie's sixth this year on the European Tour, tying a modern record. This match avenged a 5 and 4 loss a year ago to O'Meara in the second round. It also made up for a loss five years ago to Ernie Els in the final.

"Mark is a great competitor and I'm fortunate he didn't hole the putts this morning," Montgomerie said. "I got a bit of a lead and I managed to hang on to it this afternoon."

While Montgomerie was troubled by dental problems that will require a tooth extraction Monday, O'Meara was ailing with a stiff neck and shoulder pain. He said he felt better than he had all week, but his game was too erratic to catch Montgomerie.

"I knew that not playing my best I really had to claw away out there but never really got on track. But Colin deserved to win, he showed the kind of champion he is."

Montgomerie secured the title on the 34th hole with a 3-foot birdie putt after O'Meara saved par with a 20-footer.

The Scot was up by five holes after 13. He led by three after the first 18 holes with a 6-under-par 66 on the West Course at Wentworth.

Montgomerie reached the final with a lopsided 7 and 6 win Saturday over Padraig Harrington. O'Meara beat Nick Price 1 up, sinking a chip from 60 feet on the 36th hole for an eagle-5.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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