Murphy's Irish Open: Monty back to winning ways

Colin Montgomerie feels like rejoicing.

Colin Montgomerie feels like rejoicing.

Not only because he has another golf title to his name, but because he is off the conveyor belt that nearly wrecked his life.

A five-stroke victory in the Murphy's Irish Open in Cork ended 13 months without a European Tour success for the 38-year-old Scot.

And Europe's Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance can breathe a sigh of relief as a result - Montgomerie is up from 13th to sixth in the table - but that does not compare to the relief that the player himself feels.

"You wonder if it is ever going to happen again," he said.

But more than that, it is overcoming the personal turmoil that led to him separating from wife Eimear for a while last year which made this so special.

"This was one of the most important wins of my career - if not THE most important.

"I've had an awful good look at myself in the last eight months and I am a better person now. I feel I can go forward.

"I think I wanted success too much. Success breeds success and I was on a conveyor belt I couldn't get off.

"But I've turned it around. I am a lot calmer on and off the course.

"I saw a lot of errors. There's nobody perfect and I'm not, but we can all improve.

"I see the warning signs all the time. But there's no conveyor belt now. I was looking at Order of Merit sheets every minute of every day and it got too much.

"I've got the T-shirt for the Order of Merit now (he won it a record seven successive years prior to last season) and I don't need that now.

"I want to savour this. To win again as this new person, if you like, means a lot.

"Thirteen months is the longest time I've gone without a win (in Europe - he did capture the Australian Masters in February) since 1991 and that also makes this possibly the most important victory of any.

"It's easy when you are on a bit of a roll, but if you've just written 56 bad articles then you're not confident of the 57th, I can assure you."

This was the first time that Montgomerie had ever led from start to finish in a tournament.

A Fota Island course record 63 put him out in front - and subsequent rounds of 69, 68 and 66 gave him the 18-under-par total of 266 - and he predicted he would win.

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