• US Senior Open

Montgomerie claims second senior major

ESPN staff
July 13, 2014
Colin Montgomerie shows off his second major championship in the over-50s category © Getty Images

Colin Montgomerie won his first professional play-off at the ninth attempt to see off Gene Sauers and claim the US Senior Open title on Sunday at Oak Tree National.

Both entered the play-off at five under. Montgomerie entered the third extra hole with a one-shot lead, then made a putt on No.18 to par the hole and claim the win.

Montgomerie became the fifth golfer to win both the Senior PGA Championship and US Senior Open in the same year. He led at the end of the first and second days of the Senior Open, but entered the final round four shots behind Sauers and shot a two-under 69 to force the play-off.

Most famously, he lost to Ernie Els at the 1994 US Open in a play-off and to Steve Elkington in sudden death at the 1995 PGA Championship.

"My play-off record is pretty weak, to be honest. I think I've been in 10 worldwide and won one of them up until today," Montgomerie said.

"I've lost in a play-off [1994] and been one shot behind a couple of times [1997 and 2006] and you have to wait to 50 to finally win one.

"You talk about the Ryder Cup and one-on-one - I'm usually quite good. A play-off in a golf tournament is like a penalty shoot-out in the World Cup. You don't know what's going to happen."

It was the first play-off at a US Senior Open since 2002, when Don Pooley beat Tom Watson in a five-hole play-off. This one was held in temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees. Sauers often used a towel to wipe his face and at times rolled it and placed it on the back of his neck. Montgomerie's face was red from the sun, and he carried a towel to the interview podium while still sweating well after he made his final putt.

"For my wife and three kids to be here is fantastic, and I'm just sorry for them," Montgomerie said. "It was very hot for them to walk around. They had to walk 21 holes today. Eighteen is enough."

The victory earned Montgomerie a spot in next year's US Open, a tournament in which he has finished runner-up three times.

Montgomerie failed to win in 71 PGA Tour majors and four Champions Tour majors until May, when he won the Senior PGA Championship. Now, he has won two of his past three majors to become just the fifth golfer to win both the Senior PGA Championship and US Senior Open in the same year.

The 51-year-old said he has become more patient with age.

"You have to play intelligent golf, and I think I've matured enough to realise that and play more within myself sometimes, including today - to play away from some pins so you don't make bogies, and you realise that in major golf, pars are usually good enough, especially in the USGA events," he said.

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