Colin Montgomerie Colin Montgomerie leads Scotland to victory in Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China

Colin Montgomerie led Scotland to a playoff victory Sunday in the 2007 Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China.

The European PGA Tour star, playing with countryman Marc Warren, defeated the American team of Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley on the third playoff hole at the Olazabal course at Mission Hills, giving Scotland its first ever win in the event's 54-year history.

Scotland lost last year to Germany in a playoff.

"I didn't want to say anything to Marc but my playoff record is rubbish," joked Montgomerie with reporters after the event. "But playing with Marc was great and if he is not in the top 20 in the world by this time next year I will be very surprised for he is a fantastic player.

"He holed some crucial putts out there under pressure, none more so than at the first play-off hole to keep us in it. After that went in I thought we were favorites to be honest and so it was great to get the job done. After missing out last year, to come here and win is superb."

For Montgomerie, the world title joins a stellar European PGA Tour record, that includes eight Order of Merit wins over his long career.

"For this format, Monty is the perfect guy to play with," Warren told reporters. "If you make a mistake, you know he will hit a fine recovery shot to get you back on track and, just like last year, it was an honour to play for Scotland alongside him.

"We didn't really feel any extra pressure going into the play-off because we lost out last year but it would have been really disappointing to miss out again which is why it is fantastic that we have won for Scotland for the first time. It is also a great honour to win the first tournament sponsored by Omega and Mission Hills who have looked after us all so superbly this week."

For much of the day Scotland had looked in control, after completing their round six-under-par in the foursomes, and leading the U.S. and France by one stroke heading into the 18th.

In regulation play, the Scots went ahead for the first time after playing the 14th and 15th in three under par. First Warren his a pitch stone dead for a tap-in birdie at the 14th, then Montgomerie produced the shot of the day, a 202 yard six iron to eight feet for Warren to roll in the eagle putt.

But the Americans hung tough on 18, with Weekley hitting an approach to within five feet of the pin, giving Slocum an easy birdie put to tie Scotland at 25-under-par, forcing a playoff.

On the playoffs first hole, Montgomerie forced his tee shot into a fairway bunker. Warren sent his approach shot into another bunker close to the flag. Montgomerie chipped out, but the ball fell short of the pin, leaving Warren with a tricky 10-footer for par, which he buried. The Americans also made par, forcing another hole.

Both teams ended up parring the second playoff hole as well.

On the third playoff hole, Weekley hit his approach fat, failing to reach the green. Slocum could not get his pitch closer than 12 feet. Scotland had its par assured. Weekley faced a 12-foot par putt to force another extra hole, but left the ball well high of the hole.

November 26, 2007

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