At Medinah, Montgomerie is aiming to get trim and win

Colin Montgomerie would be happy to finish one spot ahead of Tiger Woods. (Photo: AP)
Colin Montgomerie would be happy to finish one spot ahead of Tiger Woods. (Photo: AP)

Colin Montgomerie tees off in his 60th major on Thursday with two goals: to claim his first big trophy, and to lose some more weight so he can fit into his Ryder Cup clothes. He finished sixth in the 1999 PGA, and feels good at Medinah.

MEDINAH, Ill. (PA) -- Colin Montgomerie has twin targets as he heads into the 60th major of his career on Thursday -- not just to try to win his first one, but also to try to lose some more weight.

When the 43-year-old was told recently he needed to be sized up for Ryder Cup clothing, his answer was: "Just give me the same clothes as last time."

Then he realized he was 20 pounds heavier.

The revelation "gave me a great incentive and I've got about half of it off already," he said Wednesday. "I can lose it quickly, but I can put it on very quickly, too, and it's very difficult in America."

At least the Scot has only one week of the enormous American portions rather than two on this particular trip.

While the European Ryder Cup race continues at next week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio, Montgomerie, who is second in the European points race and sure of an eighth appearance next month, is able to skip the event. Instead he is taking part again in the celebrity All Star Cup made-for-television tournament at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Montgomerie's last major in America, of course, saw him finish tied for second in the U.S. Open -- after a double-bogey 6 on the final hole. That was his fifth runner-up finish in majors, a record for somebody who has never won one.

He is back now at a course where he finished tied for sixth in 1999, just five strokes behind Tiger Woods. The same player is the man to beat this week.

"If you offered me a finish of one place ahead of Tiger," Montgomerie smiled, "I'd take it."

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