Fresh off winning his eighth PGA European Tour Order of Merit, Colin Montgomerie has gotten a good jump on a ninth.
The Scotsman won the Hong Kong Open by one stroke Dec. 4 over South African James Kingston, who made double bogey on the final hole and fell into a five-way tie for second (Results, p56).
Montgomerie closed with an even-par 70, his worst round of the tournament, but came away with his 30th European Tour victory after finishing at 9-under 271 and winning 170,590 euros (approximately $200,000) in an event co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours. Kingston (71) tied for second with American Edward Loar (69), K.J. Choi of South Korea (69), Taiwan’s Lin Keng-chi (69) and Thailand’s Thammanoon Srirot (68)
Kingston, who is still looking for his first European victory, led by two with three holes to play but three-putted for bogey on No. 16 to drop his lead. He drove right into the trees at 18, pitched out and left his third shot short of the green. After chipping to 6 feet, he missed his bogey putt.
“That’s golf,” said the 40-year-old Kingston, who squandered a chance to win the event for the second consecutive year. “Obviously, I was aware of the situation. I was just so nervous.”
Kingston was tied for the lead with Miguel Angel Jimenez heading to the 72nd hole in last year’s event but hooked his drive against a fence, had to take a penalty drop and fell into a tie for second with Padraig Harrington.
Montgomerie was sympathetic.
“I must say that everyone’s heart goes out to James Kingston there,” he said. “That should have been a playoff at worst, to be honest.”