Golf Tidbits: Monty coming to the Champions Tour

12:21 PM, Jun 24, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Champions Tour is the ultimate mulligan for many golfers. Colin Montgomerie hopes that is the case for him.

Montgomerie, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier this year, has two glaring holes on his resume - zero wins in the United States and zero major championship titles.

The Scotsman could wipe out both of those in his first start on the Champions Tour this week. The gentlemen on the seniors circuit will be competing in their third major of the season, the Constellation Senior Players Championship.

"There's more golfers over 50 in the world than there are under and it would be fantastic to try and achieve the dream of winning a major championship finally, whether it be normal Tour or Senior Tour, I do look forward to it," Montgomerie said.

Sure, it won't be the Masters or U.S. Open or PGA Championship, but it would be a start for Montgomerie. On this side of the pond, he has always been a punching bag for barbs, but in Europe he was a superstar.

Montgomerie won the European Tour Order of Merit a record eight times, including seven in a row from 1993-99, thanks in part to his 31 European Tour victories.

In eight Ryder Cup appearances, Monty piled up an impressive 20-9-7 record, including a 6-0-2 mark in singles. He also captained the Europeans to victory in 2010.

Yet, there was that gaping hole of no wins in the United States. Monty played in 138 PGA Tour events, and he finished second six times and third four times. In all, Montgomerie tallied 24 top-10 finishes.

Five of his second second-place finishes were in major championships, including three at the U.S. Open. His other runner-up finish was at the Players Championship, which some refer to as the fifth major on the PGA Tour.

"There's always something. You know, I had a great career, a great normal career if you like, and I got to No. 2 in the world. Now being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a great honor, but, of course, there's always an omission, isn't there, when you talk about me, there's a lack of a major championship," Montgomerie said.

Now that he turned 50 last week, Montgomerie has set his sights on the Champions Tour in hopes of collecting that elusive first stateside win.

The tour has 14 events remaining this year, including three majors, the last of which is the Senior British Open at Royal Birkdale.

It would be ironic in a sense if his first major came at the Senior British, and not in the States. I'm sure Montgomerie would take it nonetheless.

ELS SNAPS WINLESS DROUGHT

Every golfer dreams of one day becoming a major championship winner. Nearly one year ago, Ernie Els achieved that milestone for a fourth time.

Els, like several other recent major winners, has scuffled since winning that big championship. The Big Easy finally moved back into the winner's circle on Sunday, when he claimed the BMW International Open.

Of the last eight major champions, Els became the third member of that group to win a title after winning his major. Granted the last two major champions - Justin Rose and Adam Scott - have combined for four starts since each claimed his major, but the drought of this group is staggering.

Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Darren Clarke, along with Rose and Scott, is each winless since winning his major.

Els won on the European Tour this past weekend and Keegan Bradley won the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Rory McIlroy has had the most success of this group.

McIlroy's last major was last year's PGA Championship. He won two PGA Tour FedExCup playoff events later last year and the season-ending event on the European Tour.

Dating to the 2011 Masters, which would add Charl Schwartzel to this group, four of the nine major champions have won another event.

What does this all mean? Rose and Scott better be ready to struggle for the coming months. Sure, the duo has made the cut in their four combined starts since winning their majors, but neither has finished better than 13th.

And if recent history holds, it could be that way for quite some time.

MINI-TIDBITS

* Much like Stacy Lewis, Ken Duke battled scoliosis as a teenager. Duke hasn't had the same success as Lewis, though. Duke won the Travelers Championship over the weekend, giving him his first PGA Tour title in his 187th tour start.

* Bubba Watson failed to hold the lead at the Travelers. He has won just one of the six times he was the 54-hole leader in PGA Tour events. With four PGA Tour wins, including the 2012 Masters, you would think he'd have a better record than that.

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