SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Colin Montgomerie has only one big trophy to show for another strong season on the Champions Tour. The Scot has a chance to add two more this week at Desert Mountain.
Montgomerie enters the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship with the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup points race – 39 ahead of Jeff Maggert and 66 in front of Bernhard Langer. All three are in position to take the season title with a victory in the 30-man tournament.
"It's been a frustrating year in many ways," Montgomerie said Wednesday, a day before the start of play on the Cochise Course. "I've got in position to win a number of times and haven't really taken that on. I feel very fortunate in many ways to be leading having only won once.
"I suppose that proves a little bit of consistency, but at the same time having only won once coming in here leading shows consistency. This is the one that I really need to get to win. It's in my own hands as it is to Jeff and to Bernhard. If they win, they win, and I'm in that frame."
Players will receive a point for every $500 earned in the $2.5 million tournament, meaning Montgomerie is $19,500 ahead of Maggert and $33,000 in front of Langer. The season winner will receive a $1 million annuity, the runner-up a $500,000 annuity, and the third-place finisher a $300,000 annuity.
"I've got two tough competitors to play against," Montgomerie said. "The thing is, so have they."
Montgomerie successfully defended his title this season in the Senior PGA Championship, one of the tour's five majors, for his lone victory. He was two runner-up finishes and three thirds.
Maggert has a tour-high four victories, winning majors in the Regions Tradition and U.S. Senior Open. He leads the money list with $2,188,836, followed by Langer ($2,086,288) and Montgomerie ($2,017,619).
"I expect to play well and I always expect those guys to play well," Maggert said. "I feel like I need to have a chance to win the tournament on Sunday, if not be right there. I feel like it's going to be probably a difference between a guy finishing third and fourth or second and the next guy finishes third. The goal is to obviously win."
Langer has won twice this season, also taking a major at the Senior Players Championship. The German star won the season titles in 2010 and 2014.
Last year, Tom Pernice Jr. beat Jay Haas with a birdie on the fourth hole of a playoff.
The top 30 on the money list qualified for the tournament.
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