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Montgomeri­e keen to prove he can still win

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BEIJING (Reuters) — European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomeri­e is desperate to show he can still compete at the highest level when he lines up for this week’s co-sanctioned China Open in Beijing.

Theeight-timeEurope­anTourorde­r of merit winner, who will be hoping to lead his team to victory over the United States at Celtic Manor, Wales, next year, has set the initial target of ending a winless streak that dates back to 2007.

“It’s very important to show that I’m still competing and it’s very important for the players to have respect of their captain,” the 45-year-old Briton, who has slumped to a world ranking of 147, told reporters on Wednesday.

“I would love to show them and prove to them I’m still capable of winning,” he added.

“I’d like to get back to the winner’s circle. It’s been about 18 months since. It’s been too long,” the European Tour’s most prolific British winner said.

Montgomeri­e will attempt to land his 32nd title in Beijing, not only for the winner’s cheque of $366,000, but also a spot in the 16-man field for the World Match Play Championsh­ip later this year in Spain.

“Whenever the winner here gets the fantastic invite, I’d like that to be me,” said the Scot, who will be teeing off in his 501st European Tour event this week.

The tournament also marks the first event to be hosted by the controvers­ial OneAsia Tour, a newly-launched Asia-Pacific circuit driven by Australia with China and South Korea in support.

The new circuit has already encountere­d fierce opposition from the establishe­d Asian Tour, whose chief Kyi Hla Han said his players would boycott tournament­s sanctioned by their rivals.

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